9 March 2019 | Brucey_D
"..your tried to muder me, and I don't like that at all!....."
In post-war times, Neil Blair (Price) is unexpectedly sent to the Alps by his wartime C.O. Derek Engles (Newton). His mission is to keep an eye, on an Italian ski-lodge, populated with a mixed bunch of folk, most of whom are pretending to be something they are not.
This film is based on a Hammond Innes novel and the plot is -in the broadest terms- quite credible in that folk scoured Europe for loot in the post war years. Obviously there are twists and turns here which I won't go into, but covert activities here are somewhat amateurish for the most part; perhaps audiences in 1947 had a different level of expectation in this regard.
Most of the film was shot in Shepherd's Bush but there was location shooting in the French Alps, mostly using doubles (who could ski properly) in long shots and also for footage that was used in back-projection studio work. The location shooting was beautifully done; marvellous unspoiled snowscapes with skiers (mostly) making fresh tracks in virgin snow. It should be remembered that, at this time, skiing in the Alps was an almost impossibly exotic thing to do. It was the province of the wealthy and not for the unfit or risk-adverse either; proper 'release' bindings and very supportive boots hadn't been invented yet (broken ankles were commonplace) and ski-lifts were a rarity; if you wanted those few minutes of glorious downhill ecstasy, you usually had to work for it, by legging it up the mountain first; for every five minutes of downhill skiing there might be an hour of breathless ascent beforehand.
Fashions change of course but one thing that made me chuckle was Mayne's (Middleton's) headgear; presumably some kind of ear muffs, I did a double take, wondering if he was in fact wearing his underwear on his head for a bet or something.
This film is moderately interesting as a thriller but earns itself an extra star from me for the location shooting, little of it though there is . Seven out of ten.