Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller
An American ballistics expert in Turkey finds himself targeted by Nazi agents. Safe passage home by ship is arranged for him, but he soon discovers that his pursuers are also on board.
The great stage actor Richard Bennett had been brought back to films by Orson Welles for "The Magnificent Ambersons". Although his performance as old Major Amberson has become legendary, it was achieved with great difficulty, as Bennett, by then an old man near death, found it hard to remember his lines and his eyesight was too poor for him to be able to read them off cue-cards. Welles's patience in dealing with these problems has been widely described. When he cast Bennett again in this film, as the ship's captain, he overcame the problems very simply, by giving Bennett no actual dialogue at all, although the character has several memorable scenes. It was to be Bennett's final film role.
You've been long in Turkey?
Prof. Haller: A few weeks. I came there from Persia.
Howard Graham: Oil?
Prof. Haller: No, Mr. Graham. Archeology.
Howard Graham: Oh.
Prof. Haller: I was investigating the early pre-Islamic cultures. Forgive me, I am boring you already.
Near the end of the movie, Joseph Cotten is seen walking in the rain and entering a hotel. When he walks up to the front desk his suit looks hardly touched by the rain. However, in the next scene, when he enters his wife's room his suit is drenched.
In 2005 an alternate cut was shown at the Welles film retrospective in Locarno, Switzerland. It was the original European release print, lacking the narration and ending of the US version but including about eight minutes of footage later deleted by RKO, reportedly for political and censorship reasons. This alternate version, assembled by Stefan Droessler of the Munich Filmmuseum, was shown at the Museum of Modern Art on Sat, Nov 21, 2015
English, Turkish, French, German