(Review originally written at 7 November 2009)

This movie once more shows that Orson Welles was really one of the best directors of all time. His movies are always something special and original to watch, due to his directing approach and use of new techniques.

This movie is as well filled with some real great camera-work and some shots obviously required lots of expensive preparations and early effects, due to its complex handling. The camera in this movie is almost constantly moving and unlike many other movies from the same time period it doesn't have many fixed steady shots in it. The more and the better you pay attention to its details, the more you'll notice. Technically it's simply greatly made movie from Welles, who himself had never been too fond or proud of this production though.

But the movie also had the luck that it had a great story to work around. It's an intriguing thriller story that is set right after WW II, the same time period that this movie got actually made in. It's about the search for a former Nazi who has fled to the United States and who tries to cover up his evil secret past. It's up to the War Crimes Commission investigator played by Edward G. Robinson to find out who this man.

It was great and refreshing to see Edward G. Robinson playing the good guy for a change in an '40's movie. He is a person who is of course best known for playing though gangster roles, mostly in the '30's and '40's. With this movie he shows that he could just as well pull of the role as good guy. He was simply great in this movie, as can be said as well about the other actors of the movie. Orson Welles himself also plays significant role again and he of course also was no small time actor at the time. The movie has some real great characters and actors portraying them.

This really isn't among Welles' best known movies but it is truly among his best in my opinion. Its thriller and suspense aspects have a sort of Hitchcock feeling to it, which is perhaps the greatest compliment you can ever give a thriller.


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About Frank Veenstra

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