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(Review originally written at 9 August 2007)

The concept of the movie is pretty interesting; The post WW II effects on Germany. Too bad that the movie chooses a completely uninteresting approach.

The story seems to be going nowhere and for an hour it mostly consists out of continuing drivel between Gene Kelly and Pier Angeli. The movie shows some mystery and action tendencies but none of them really pushes through. It makes "The Devil Makes Three" an unsatisfying and also quite redundant movie to watch, despite its very interesting and also original concept. There really aren't that many movies that concentrate on post WW II Germany. Too bad that they couldn't come up with a more interesting story and approach of it.

The movie does get much better and interesting in the end, when a new Nazi order comes in the story but there is nothing in the story before this that even hints to this plot-element. The movie as a whole therefor feels disjointed and the ending comes too late to safe the movie as a whole.

Director Andrew Marton had more success working as a second unit director, with movies such as "Ben-Hur", "Kelly's Heroes" and "The Day of the Jackal".

It definitely helps that the movie was obviously shot at location and in the early '50's, right after WW II. Germany was still in ruins for some parts and the movie uses this backdrop gratefully. It helps to make the movie look and feel realistic and it works obviously better than the normal fake- and studio work. All of the locations seem to be the real thing, including Hitler's Eagle's nest (The Kehlsteinhaus), that was near Berchtesgaden, which at the time of filming was subsequently used by the Allies as a military command post until 1960, when it was handed back to the State of Bavaria.

Guess lots of people are having trouble with seeing Gene Kelly in such a serious role as this one but in all fairness, he pulls it off quite well. He shows that he also knew how to act, besides being normally mostly just a 'show-man' or entertainer. Pier Angeli also plays nicely but her character just isn't the most compelling one. At first you mostly hate her and she is irritating, in the second halve of the movie you're supposed to care about her. This approach just doesn't work out, at least not good enough.

Not an awful movie but still an uninteresting and redundant one.

6/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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