18 August 2011 | joe-pearce-1
A Bit About Mr. Henreid
I'm commenting here only about some of the rather silly comments expressed elsewhere about Paul Henreid. First of all, he wasn't "Hungarian/French/American", but Austrian/American, born a member of the Austrian nobility in Trieste and raised in Vienna. His original name was too long to reproduce here, but he first acted under the name of Paul von Hernreid. Several have mentioned his THICK accent, but he has almost no accent at all in most of the film, and what accent remains is so light as to be indeterminable (almost the kind of Continental European accent one can hear in Audrey Hepburn's speech when she's not making a determined effort to speak English with no accent at all); whatever the accent may be, it is certainly not "thick"! And his brother in the film is played by American Edward Franz, who very often played roles in which he had no definable accent but seemed to be speaking with one just the same(!). That is pretty much the way I heard him in this film, too. Others claim Henreid was trying to change his good-guy image, but he had already done that several times in films, most especially as Nazis in two English-made films (one of which being the quite notable NIGHT TRAIN TO MUNICH) prior to arriving in the U.S., and concurrently with this film he appeared in ROPE OF SAND as one of the most despicable villains of the late 1940s (at one point, he blinds Burt Lancaster by forcing his head into the sand, and then tries to run over him with a truck!). As with at least a few of the commentators, I usually find that Henreid lacks a certain amount of star charisma, but he seems to have more of it in this film than in any other of the thirty or so films I've seen him in. Ironically, it is in what is probably his least-known starring role effort. Too bad.