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Nato in Ucraina, Anatola Litvak (1902), dopo aver diretto
si trasferi' in Germania dove lavoro' per l'UFA, dirigendo
Dolly Macht Karriere (1931), Nie Wieder Liebe (1932) e
Das Lied Einer Nacht (1933),
e poi, dopo l'avvento del Nazismo, in Inghilterra, dove diresse
Sleeping Car (1933), e
in Francia, dove diresse
e soprattutto Mayerling (1936), un melodramma storico.
Nel 1937 emigro' negli USA, dove diresse
The Woman Between (1937).
Tovarich (1937) is a farce in which Russian nobles flee the revolution,
entrusted with a fortune. They want to save the money for their homeland,
but are penniless. So they take jobs in Paris as servants for a wealthy couple.
When the couple throw a party, one of the guests, a Russia, recognizes the
The French couple doesn't know what to do with the royal refugees.
The Russian official want them to return the money to the Soviet Union.
The woman eventually decides that it is the right thing to do, because it
will help the Russian people even under a different regime.
The royal couple remains at the service of the French family.
In The Sisters (1938) is about three western girls who make unhappy marriages at the turn of the century.
Amazing Dr Clitterhouse (1938) is a reverse thriller in which we know
from the very beginning "who's done it". The ending (the trial) is a farce,
though. A strange hybrid.
Robinson e' un dottore e chirurgo freddo e calcolatore, molto amico di un
ispettore di polizia, e si trova sul luogo di una rapina spettacolare,
la quarta della serie. In ospedale
una sua infermiera scopre che la refurtiva si trova
proprio nella sua borsa di lavoro e Robinson non esita a confessarle di essere il ladro. Sempre freddo e
impassibile, spiega di avere un interesse professionale a scoprire gli effetti psicologici del crimine e che il
modo migliore di farlo e' di diventare egli stesso un criminale.
Avvantaggiato dalle confidenze dell'ispettore, Clitterhouse diventa un
fuoriclasse. L'ispettore stesso gli fornisce il nome di un celebre ricettatore.
Clitterhouse lo cerca e scopre che si tratta di un'avvenente bionda.
Forte dei suoi successi, Clitterhouse convince il famigerato ricercato
Rocks (Humphrey Bogart), che vive con la donna, ad allearsi con lui: in cambio
del suo aiuto Clitterhouse chiede soltanto che tutti imembri della banda
si sottopongano ad un test medico prima e dopo i colpi.
Rocks diventa pero' presto geloso del dottore e durante un colpo tenta di farlo
Il dottore viene salvato da uno della banda, ma decide che e' ora di mettere fine all'esperimento,
anche perche' si sta innamorando della donna. Ma Rocks e' deciso a vendicarsi
dell'umiliazione: scopre dove abita e che e' un famoso dottore, e minaccia di ricattarlo di fronte alla donna.
Il dottore lo droga e poi, con la complicita` della donna, lo getta nel fiume,
entusiasta di poter finalmente studiare gli effetti del crimine per eccellenza:
Questa volta, pero', la polizia lo smaschera.
Clitterhouse confessa la ragione del
suo agire, viene processato, ma la giuria non riesce a decidere se l'imputato
sia o meno pazzo. Lui sostiene di essere perfettamente sano (il che gli
costerebbe la vita) e per tale ragione la giuria alla fine lo dichiara pazzo.
(E` un mistero perche' l'infermiera, estranea ai furti, abbia mantenuto il silenzio durante tutto il tempo).
Confession of a Nazi Spy (1939) is a boring anti-nazi propaganda vehicle.
The film is narrated as if it were the reportage of a real story. For about
45 minutes it deals only with the network of spies that a few nazi fanatics
are trying to create in the USA. Then the arrest of one of them starts an
investigation, led by Edward Robinson. He traps the nazis one by one. The
most coward is the ring leader, a doctor who does not hesitate to betray
his own comrades in order to gain immunity and is ready to elope with a
young woman and abandon his faithful wife, but is captured by Gestapo agents.
The Germans strike back by kidnapping and intimidating the witnesses before
the trial. But justice prevails.
Dopo il pugilistico City for Conquest (1940), adapted from Aben Kandel's novel "City for Conquest" (1936), con Cagney, venne il melodramma
All This and Heaven Too (1940),
con Bette Davis nei panni di un'istitutrice che provoca una crisi fra due
coniugi che si conclude con l'uxoricidio e il suicidio del marito.
Nel 1800, Bette Davis e' un'insegnante di
francese che, appena iniziato ad insegnare in un collegio femminile, viene accolta con scherno dalle
allieve, che hanno scoperto il suo torbido passato. Decisa a farsi rispettare, racconta la sua storia.
Arrivo' a Parigi come governante inglese; sul traghetto ha conosciuto un
aspirante pastore americano. I padroni della casa in cui lavora litigano sempre e hanno quattro figli: tre
ragazze e un bambino. La nuova governante viene accolta con cortesia dal marito, con gelosia dalla
moglie. Il marito la prende in grande simpatia e si fida ciecamente di lei, molto piu' che della isterica e
antipatica moglie. Quando il bambino si ammala gravemente per un'imprudenza della madre, la crisi
diventa totale. davis prova a diventare amica della moglie, ma la gelosia di quest'ultima aumenta al punto
di costringere il marito a non vederla piu' e a piazzargli un valletto come spia. Lui non puo' ribellarsi
perche' dipende dal denaro del suocero. La madre non e' amata neppure dai suoi bambini, che invece
adorano la governante. Quando lei, incapace di sopportare oltre di essere la causa della crisi familiare,
decide di andarsene, al marito e ai figli si spezza il cuore. La moglie la odia ancora di piu' e la perseguita
ancora, godendo del suo dolore e del dolore del marito. Quando il marito lo scopre, la strangola.
Dell'omicidio vengono subito sospettati il marito e l'ex-governante, che vengono arrestati. In prigione va a
trovarla il pastore americano che aveva conosciuto sul traghetto. Mentre Davis viene interrogata al
processo, l'omicida si avvelena. Prima che muoia fanno in tempo a scambiarsi ancora uno sguardo. Lei
viene rimessa in liberta' e il pastore le procura il posto in quella scuola.
A quel punto l'insegnante si rivolge alle allieve e chiede loro di finire la storia: la
abbracciano piangendo. Il pastore le offrira' il matrimonio.
Castle on the Hudson (1940), a remake of Curtiz's 20000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), is an odd hybrid of gangster film and prison drama.
Tommy is a dangerous gangster who just pulled out another robbery. He is
confident he will get away again, as usual. He takes his girl to an expensive
restaurant, but the police show up with an arrest warrant for him. Still
confident his attorney will sort out things, Tommy tells her that he will be
back soon. Instead this time the trial takes place and the jury finds him
guilty. Even on his way to the penitentiary, Tommy still exudes confidence
that this will be little more than a holiday for him. Instead, his attorney
fails to impress or bribe the warden, and Tommy is dumped in a cell like
everybody else. Tommy tries to resist the rules, but solitary confinement
eventually breaks his will. Tommy lives only for his girlfriend Kay, who comes
to visit him frequently, hoping that his attorney will eventually get him out
of there. But his attorney is instead flirting with his girlfriend. One day
the warden tells Tommy that Kay was in a car accident and is
dying at the hospital. The warden let Tommy go to see her for a day, and Tommy
gives him his word of honor that he will be back by night.
What the warden doesn't know is that the girl hurt herself when she jumped
out of the attorney's car, and the reason Kay jumped out of it is that
the attorney was molesting her. Tommy finds out when he talks to her, and
is determined to take his revenge. When the attorney walks in, they fight
it out. Tommy is about to succumb when Kay pulls out a gun and kills
the attorney. Kay tells Tommy to run and tries in vain to convince the
police that she is the one who pulled the trigger: the evidence points to an
escape convict who, in a fit of rage, killed his attorney.
Now the warden is ridiculed for trusting a convict and is ready to resign,
but Tommy sticks to his word and comes back, even if he knows that this means
the electric chair.
This Above All (1942) ha Power nei panni di un soldato che non vuole piu' combattere benche' sia
Out of The Fog (1941), from Irwin Shaw's play "The Gentle People",
is some sort of Brecht-ian allegory about a peaceful community that has
to resort to violence in order to defend itself from violence.
A gangster sets fire to a boat at the harbor. As the whole town rushes to
the scene of the crime, he stays inside a saloon and chats with two fishermen
who are about to go out on a fishing trip.
He then witnesses an argument between one of the fishermen's restless
daughter, Stella, and her good boyfriend George.
Later, Goff asks the fishermen for protection money or their boat will be
At the same time, Goff starts seeing Stella, and does not hide his real business and the identity of his new victims.
The two fishermen find the guts to turn Goff in to the police, but Goff
outsmarts them at the trial. Then Goff goes back to terrorize them.
He beats Stella's father, at the same time that he is planning to take her
to Cuba with him.
The fishermen decide to pay the "protection money" and realize that everybody
else in town is doing the same. But it is just a trick: they want him to trust
them and get into the boat with them, so they can dispose of him.
They don't have the heart of carrying out their plan, but the gangster falls
in the waters anyway and dies. The fishermen think they solved all their
problems, but, instead, George and Stella get accused of plotting the murder:
he is the obvious suspect since he was jealous and had just been beaten by
Goff, and Stella is also a suspect because of Goff's persecution of her father.
But the police cannot prove their suspicions.
The two fishermen found Goff's wallet and keep the money.
The Long Night (1947) was a remake of
Carné's Le Jour Se Leve, also told entirely in flashback like
the original, in which a war veteran, Joe (Henry Fonda), remembers how he ended
up murdering a magician.
Sorry Wrong Number (1948) is a
masterful film noir and clockwork-like thriller featuring multiple
flashbacks with multiple narrators
(and even a flashback by one person within a flashback by another person).
Sorry Wrong Number (1948), adapted from Lucille Fletcher's radio play,
is also a multi-tier metaphor: a narrative
metaphor of the telephone as a medium to connect strangers (not only
the protagonist and the killer, but also the protagonist and the telephone
a metaphor of visual and audio icons that project a sense of fear and impotence,
a metaphor of the person trapped inside a house,
Litvak creates a drama out of the fundamental property of the telephone:
one can hear what the voice is saying, but one cannot see what that person
is doing and what is going on around that person.
Leona (Barbara Stanwyck) is a spoiled housewife who spends her day in bed,
waiting for her hard-working husband Henry to return home from the office. One day she
calls the office number and an interference allows her to overhear a
conversation between two people who are plotting the murder of a woman
later that evening when a train will pass by.
She knows that an innocent is about to be murdered and what time the murder is going to be committed, but can't convince the telephone operator or the police
operator to do something about it: either it is not their duty, or the
information she provides is too vague.
Leona's father calls, looking for her husband. He pretends to be lonely,
but instead we see that he is having a wild party.
The phone rings: a man named Waldo is frantically looking for Henry.
Leona calls her husband's assistant, Elizabeth, and learns that Henry had
a lunch date with a young woman, Sally, apparently an old acquaitance (first
flashback) and didn't come back to the office after that.
Leona tracks down Sally's phone number. While she waits for her to come
to the phone, she can hear Sally's husband typing on the typewriter and talking
about her husband Henry. Sally is disturbed by the phone call, and seems afraid of
discussing Henry in front of her husband, so she tells Leona that she cannot
talk and that she will call back. As she hangs up, Leona remembers how
she met Henry at a dancehall (second flashback, and first scene with Henry).
The young and handsome Henry was dancing with his girlfriend Sally.
She (Leona), a friend of Sally, rudely
interrupted them and, introducing herself as the heiress she is, asked to
dance with Henry, and then invited him for a ride in her new car.
He was a drug-store clerk, while she was the daughter of the owner of a
Spoiled, arrogant and used to get what she wants, she (or her wealth) ignored
the pleas of her friend Sally (who was in love with Henry), seduced the young
man and married him. During the honeymoon, Leona found a photo of Sally in
Henry's wallet and tore it apart.
Sally calls from a phone booth and tells Leona that her husband is investigating
Henry. Sally describes what happened (third flashback). One day she and her
husband Fred, a lawyer, saw an article in the newspaper about Henry being
vice-president of the drug-store chain and Leona being afflicted by an illness.
That's when her husband told her that he was investigating Henry.
Sally secretely followed her husband to figure out what was happening.
She realized that they were marking some money to be delivered to a friend
of Henry's named Waldo. Sally couldn't make sense of the whole thing but
decided to tell Henry (fourth flashback). They met for lunch but Henry was
called to a phone booth and never came back. Sally is running out of money
from the phone booth and simply tells Leona that Henry and this
Waldo are in deep trouble.
Someone rings the bell of Leona's house but then disappears. Leona is
going crazy. Sally calls back from a station but the noise of a train
and the sight of her own husband waiting for the trail disturb their
conversation. The phone rings again: a telegram for her, from Henry,
saying that he won't be coming home because he suddenly remembered a convention
somewhere. Leona, desperate, calls her doctor. The doctor mentions the letter
he sent her: she never received any letter. The doctor then tells her what
he discussed with her husband (fifth flashback). The doctor asked Henry when
he first noticed Leona's illness. Henry recalls (sixth flashback, and flashback
within a flashback) how they had their first argument when he wanted to
meet a businessman and she didn't want him to: she became hysterical and
then fainted, after screaming that it was the first time in her life that
she couldn't get what she wanted. When he came home, her father told him that basically he had
to be her slave. The next time she had an attack was when they argued over
an apartment: Henry wanted a place of their own, but she wanted to keep
living in her father's mansion. As Henry finished telling his story, the doctor
told him that there was nothing wrong with Leona's heart. Her (somewhat
convenient) attacks were due to a psychological, not physiological, condition.
In other words, she's a spoiled brat who feigns heart attacks when she
can't get what she wants.
She is perfectly healthy.
We see that Henry got extremely angry at the news (end of the fifth flashback).
Now the doctor is telling
Leona the same thing, adding that he wrote her a letter than she never received.
Leona hangs up hysterical. The phone rings again. It is Waldo again, with a
message for Henry: the house burned down,
Morano has been arrested, and he (Waldo) escaped safely.
She begs Waldo to tell her what is going on. Waldo tells her (seventh flashback)
that he is a chemist who has worked for 15 years for Leona's father.
Henry convinced him to steal drugs from the company and sell them through a
gangster named Morano. The house that burned is the house where they used to
carry out the transactions with Morano. Henry and Waldo tried
to cheat Morano too, but Morano found out. Morano demanded money and
suggested that Henry kill his Leona, making it look like his sick wife died
of natural causes, to cash her insurance money.
But now (even of seventh flashback) Morano has been arrested by the police (probably because of Fred's
investigations in Henry's wrongdoings) and therefore there is no need to pay
the money anymore (which also means that there is no need to kill Leona).
Waldo leaves a phone number for Henry. Leona can't resist and tries it:
it is the phone number of the morgue. Leona is more and more terrified.
She looks terrified at the clock. It is almost the time when the murder is
supposed to be committed. Now she is beginning to realize that the murder
she overheard about could be hers, and that she may only have five minutes
to live. She hears someone walking into the house.
The phone rings again: it is Henry, who had second thoughts and wants to warn
her. Henry begs her to get out of bed and go to the window to scream for help.
But she cries that she can't walk because of her illness.
We hear the noise of the train that is coming: the murder is planned for
that very moment. Henry frantically tries to convince her to get out of bed,
but she just can't. We see the shadow of the killer as he approaches her bed
and then his hand as he neatly hangs up the phone. The phone rings again:
it is a desperate Henry calling Leona.
The killer picks it up and replies "sorry, wrong number".
We can see that someone has opened the phone booth behind Henry, probably
the police officer who is about to arrest him.
Litvak e' maestro nel costruire il senso di prigionia, di paura e di impotenza,
soprattutto grazie ai dettagli sonori.
Snake Pit (1948) was a psychological and social thriller based on
the novel by Mary Jane Ward during the time that Freud's theories were
popular in cinema. Indirectly, this also became a study of how mental
patients are treated by society. The science behind the plot is naive at best,
but that is not the point.
There is an eerie allegory behind the story. This is a woman who failed to
start an independent career (as a writer) and heals when she accepts to be
an ordinary housewife.
The process of healing is a process of accepting who she is and what she
Virginia is a young woman sitting on a bench. She hears a male voice and
replies to his stupid questions. She is getting annoyed but then suddenly
realizes that the only person sitting nearby is a woman. There is no man
asking her questions. The woman talks to her like she knows her well.
Virginia is surprised that the stranger knows her name. The stranger
tells her that she (the stranger) will be leaving from there soon.
Virginia is still clueless what "there" is. The two women and many other
women walk back into a large building in an ordered line. Virginia is still
clueless about what is going on. A nurse shows her in and asks Virginia if
she enjoyed the sun. Virginia is puzzled and reflects that people are nice
in this city. Then she starts suspecting that she is in a prison and gets
afraid. A doctor talks to her. The doctor obviously knows her and is kind to
her, but her eyes betray that she doesn't recognize anybody. She thinks that
he must be the warden of the prison. There's another man standing by. The
doctor, Kik, asks her if she can remember her husband. Virginia is confused.
The man standing in front of her is actually her husband Robert.
She is an inmate at a mental institution. Later the doctor chats alone with
the husband. A flashback shows how Robert, an agent at a publishing house,
met Virginia, an attractive and smart aspiring writer. He fell in love, but
she disappeared without a word. He met her again in another city. She had
no explanation for her mysterious disappearance. They started dating.
One day she suddenly wanted to get married right away.
He became puzzled by her sudden mood changes and erratic behavior.
In particular, she snapped on being told that it was the 12th of may.
Soon it became obvious that she was losing her mind.
The doctor asks the husband to authorize shock treatment which might help
bring up the subconscious cause of her illness.
Her conditions are further made miserable by the way the hospital is run:
the doctor is humane with his patients, but
all the patients sleep together in one giant warehouse-like dormitory.
Suddenly one night Virginia wakes up from her mad state and asks the doctor
how long she's been there. She realizes that she's a patient in a mental
hospital. She now remembers having a husband but can't explain why she
behaved the way she did.
The doctor is pleased to hear that she has made so much progress, but
wants to understand the causes of her illness. In particular, why the date of
May 12 has such a traumatic effect on her.
When she meets her husband, she is dubious that he is really her husband.
The doctor is opposed to letting her go out with her husband, but the board
of the hospital reminds him that they are overcrowded and they can't afford
to keep but the most serious cases. The doctor wants to try one more therapy
on her: hypnosis. He wants to find out why she ran away from Robert
the first time. Under hypnosis she remembers when
her boyfriend Gordon proposed to her. They were in the car. She felt sick
(obviously she didn't want to marry him) and asked to be taken home.
Gordon made a u-turn and hit a truck. Gordon died in the accident.
Virginia is so aware of her condition now that she tells Robert she should
divorce her. She is examined by the entire staff of the hospital in what
constitutes a test to decide if patients can be dismissed.
Doctor Kik tries to stop the interrogation realizing the risks.
She is instead tortured in front of a large audience.
She can't answer simple questions about her life.
Eventually she breaks down. She has a nightmare of somebody drowning in
a river, and of she falling into that river.
She is transferred to a more humane ward and continues to make progress in
remembering her buried past. She now remembers her love for her father
and how mean she was to her mother. Her father got sick and died.
A nurse dislikes her. Virginia realizes that the nurse is in love with
doctor Kik and is jealous of her. The moment she says it Virginia realizes
that the nurse could cause her trouble. Virginia panics. She locks herself
in a bathroom. They convince her to open the door with a lie. She gets
hysterical that they lied to her. It doesn't help that she is transferred
to the ward of a different doctor. She is placed in the worst place,
an overcrowded place in which she is
constantly surrounded by crazy people who scream and act wildly.
Doctor Kik tells her what his theory is: her madness was caused by the
irrational sense of guilt for having somehow caused the death of her father.
Gordon was so similar to her father that she liked him but also couldn't
marry him. Robert instead was so different from her father that she felt
she was betraying the memory of father.
She is virtually healed now.
At the dance of the mental asylum Virginia takes care of a newcomer, Esther,
She knows that she healed because the doctor talked to him, and would like
to do the same to Esther.
who is in the same condition that Virginia was when she first arrived.
Virginia now asks doctor Kik for personal matters. He is still single.
The doctor makes fun that a patient is not allowed to question her doctor.
This time she passes the test in front of the board.
She repeats like a good student that the cause of her illness was in her
childhood, etc: everything that the doctor told her.
Her husband comes to pick her up.
Litvak adotta uno stile di regia sensazionalista, indulgendo in scene brutali e
melodrammatiche e narrando la storia dal punto di vista della paziente (pertanto con anomalie di
inquadratura e di colonna sonora).
Seguirono per lo piu` melodrammi commerciali.
Decision Before Dawn (1951):
Un agente tedesco al servizio degli alleati
viene paracadutato con i soldati americani sulla francia e salva i compagni riconoscendo una spia tedesca,
ma viene ucciso.
Act of Love (1953) is a romantic melodrama, overlong and ruined by
too many stereotypes and by an implausible ending.
A US citizen, Bob (Kirk Douglas), arrives at a seaside town. He claims to be
just a tourist and looks for a specific hotel. He says
he has never been there but he knows the room he wants.
While he's waiting for the room to be cleaned, he meets a girl.
A flashback shows his friends during the war that has just ended.
After getting wounded, he and a friend were
assigned to the already liberated Paris in the last days of the war.
After a fight with a fellow soldier Bob decides to look for a room
and asks for the help of a prostitute who loves him, Nina (but, she says, he
came four years too late).
Bob is a cynical pessimist who has lost interest in life.
The prostitute finds him a room in the inn
run by a nice couple, Adele and Fernand, who have a rude son, Claude.
The only condition is that they
rent only to married people, so the prostitute also finds him a girl willing
to play his wife, Lise.
Nina looks like a simple, honest girl, but she also has the desperate look.
She is basically starting a new career as a prostitute, and tells Nina
that she wishes she had the courage to kill herself instead.
Nina cheers her up and teaches her how to look sexy. After making the
introduction, Nina has to leave.
Claude is clearly hostile to Bob, and to all US soldiers in general.
Lise coldly tells Bob that she has no family left, no money and no identity
papers. Then she starts crying and asks to leave rather than prostitute
herself. Bob leaves her alone.
Claude tells Lise that he despises women who sell themselves to the foreign
She looks for a job but she's routinely asked for sex in return for work.
Bob actually likes Lise. He convinces her to go out on a date and, contrary
to her expectations, they have a lot of fun.
Lise tells him of a little seaside town and a hotel where her parents used
to take her as a child.
At the same time Claude becomes friendlier and learnes to respect her.
One night the police raids the inn after someone reports a crime. They ask
Lise for the documents that prove her marriage. She doesn't have them and is
arrested. Informed by the good landlord, Bob begs his superior to intervene.
Lise is released, but she is ashamed that now everybody knows she is not
a married woman. Claude treats her like a prostitute. Bob, however, proposes
to her, and promises to take her back to the hotel of her childhood.
Unfortunately, his superior refuses to give him the permission to get married.
Bob is still determined to marry her and gives her an appointment in the
morning after making all the arrangements. What he doesn't know is that
his superior, determined to protect him from an impulsive marriage, has
ordered his transfer to a distant base.
Bob asks his buddy to fake the document that he needs to get married.
Bob then jumps off the truck that is taking him away and runs to the
appointment with Lise. Unfortunately, he is arrested by the military
police before he can see her. Claude helps the police officers by throwing
his bicycle in front of Bob while he's trying to escape.
She waits in vain for hours until one of
the police officers calls her to tell her that Bob will not come.
Claude finds her all alone and desperate, and mocks her.
She walks away like a zombie, towards the river.
The flashback ends and we are back to the first scene. Now we know why Bob
is at that hotel, and wants that specific room, the room that Lise told him
about. Bob meets the last person he would like to meet: his old superior,
who is now a typical US tourist in France. His superior makes fun of the girl
whom Bob wanted to marry. Bob replies that they found her dead in the river.
Brinner approfitta di una giovane russa (Bergman) affetta
da un'amnesia per montare una gigantesca truffa e farla passare per la figlia dell'ultimo Zar; dopo essere
passata agli esami piu' difficili, sta per trionfare, ma Brinner se ne e' innamorato e rinuncia a tutto pur di
averla per se'.
Un gruppo di occidentali, che sta cercando di lasciare l'Ungheria occupata
dai sovietici, viene trasportato su un autobus verso Vienna perche'
stato chiuso. Sull'autobus viaggia una folla eterogenea (un po' alla
Stagecoach di John Ford). In particolare, c'e` un'aristrocatica
inglese che finge di non conoscere un altrettanto misterioso passeggero.
Durante il viaggio il passeggero si sente male e si scopre cosi` che e`
ferito: la donna accorre ad aiutarlo.
Lungo la strada verso il confine vengono fermati dai partigiani che lottano
contro i sovietici. Quando pensano di avercela fatta, proprio a pochi chilometri
dal confine vengono fermati dai sovietici. Il maggiore li interroga e li
obbliga a restare in paese. Li tratta come ospiti, ma di fatto sono tenuti
prigionieri nella villa trasformata in quartier generale.
La villa e` anche oggetto di attacchi sporadici
da parte dei partigiani comandati da un'intrepida ragazza.
La donna protegge l'uomo misterioso che e` in realta` un dissidente ungherese
di cui si era innamorata e che venne arrestato e torturato. Separata da lui
per anni, lo vuole aiutare a fuggire. Alcuni dei compagni di sventura scoprono
pero` la sua vera identita` e si spaventano davanti al rischio di proteggere
un ricercato, tanto piu` che il maggiore comincia a sospettare qualcosa.
La donna organizza allora la fuga sua e dell'amico con l'aiuto della
resistenza. Il maggiore si e` a sua volta innamorato della donna, e va su
tutte le furie quando li sorprende nella barca e capisce il tradimento.
Sequestra tutti gli occidentali,
fa arrestare l'ungherese e denuncia la donna alle autorita`.
Gli ordini sono di rispedirli tutti a Budapest, ma la donna, accusata di
egoismo dai vili passeggeri, va a offrirsi al maggiore. Il maggiore li
lascia andare e lascia persino fuggire l'ungherese, che si ricongiunge
alla donna. Fanno appena in tempo a passare il ponte ed entrare in Austria
che si ode un colpo di fucile: il maggiore e` stato ucciso dai partigiani.
Aimez vous Brahms/ Goodbye Again (1961) is a faithful but mediocre
adaptation of Francoise Sagan's novel "Aimez-Vous Brahms?"
Paula (Ingrid Bergman) is a middle-aged businesswoman with an affectionate
She has been dating the wealthy and charming businessman Roger (Yves Montand) who
neglects her. He misses the fifth anniversary of the night they met but then
picks up a sexy young girl by the sidewalk.
She is a decorator and is hired by a rich woman to redecorate her mansion.
She meets her young entertaining son, Phillip (Anthony Perkins).
The young man is immediately fascinated by her and is quite aggressive.
Phillip, an aspiring lawyer, is reckless to the point of continuously cheating
at work. He makes up stories all the time.
One night Phillip meets Roger and Paul at a nightclub. He is drunk and flirts
with the woman in a clumsy way that amuses Roger. Meanwhile, Roger doesn't even
recognize the sexy young girl who happens to be sitting at the bar.
Paula and Roger give Phillip a ride home. He falls asleep on Paula's breast
like a child. The following day Phillip walks into Paula's shop to apologize
and takes her to lunch. She is flattered but treats him like a child. Meanwhile,
Roger is seducing yet another sexy young girl, who is totally charmed by
the old womanizer. Roger even denies having a fiance when she asks him.
Roger calls Paula to tell her that he has to go away on a business trip.
The truth is that he is going away with the sexy girl and, by accident,
Phillip sees them. Phillip shakes his head in disbelief.
When Phillip meets Paula at his place, he turns off the lights and tries to
kiss her, but she coldly asks him to let her go.
The next evening he invites her to a classical music concert. He tells her
he loves her and questions Roger's love to her but she is absolutely faithful.
He guesses her loneliness and unhappiness but she gets angry when he mentions
it aloud. When Roger finally comes back, she is emotional. She lets him read
a love message that Phillip sent her. Phillip decides to leave her alone and
focus on his law studies. Paula takes Phillip to the party that Phillip's mother
throws to show her friends the result of Paula's work. Roger is bored
to death by the old aristocratic crowd. Phillip arrives unexpectedly and
sits right next Paula. Roger drives her home in a very bad mood and coldly
tells her that he is leaving again for a business trip. Phillip has followed
them and, taking advantage of her sadness, kisses her. She tells him she
doesn't want to see him again, but Phillip insists and finally succeeds.
When Roger comes back, Paula tells him the truth. Roger now is sorry.
They don't see each other for two months. He keeps sleeping with young girls
but is not happy. She keeps sleeping with Phillip and is happier.
Roger calls Paula and invites her on a vacation but she politely declines.
She has fun with Phillip but society disapproves such a younger man.
Phillip's mother tries to talk to Paula but she refuses. Phillip's employer
tells Phillip that he has received pressures from his mother to transfer him
to New York. Phillip resigns. One night Paula is dancing with Phillip at
a club where Roger is dancing with the young girl du jour. Roger follows
her home and talks to her. He misses her. She takes him back.
It breaks her heart to kick Phillip out, but she tells him "I'm old!"
Roger marries Paula. It's just a new trick to enslave her: he resumes his
usual life, but now Paula is tied more securely to him.
Five Miles to Midnight (1962)
Night of the Generals (1967), based on a best-selling novel by Hans
Hellmut Kirst, is a long and mediocre war thriller.
durante l'occupazione nazista un maggiore indaga l'omicidio di
una prostituta e i suoi sospetti si concentrano su tre generali, ma prima che
possa concludere le indagini viene trasferito; eccetto che due anni dopo un'altra prostituta viene uccisa e gli stessi tre generali sono nella sua citta`.
Il colpevole alla fine si suicida.
The Lady in the Car with Glasses and a Gun (1970)