16 February 2013 | aldiboronti
An absolute gem!
What a wonderful movie and what a surprise! I didn't expect much from this and the unimaginative title didn't help. I decided to give it a try because a couple of my favourite actors were in it, Steve Cochran and Karl Malden.
First a rundown of the plot. In the opening we see a couple of passenger planes converging on Paris, one from New York and one from Germany. The date is a few years after WWII and a trial is being held in Paris for the murder of a Maquis member during the war. The accused person is absent, the character played by Cornel Wilde. The witnesses are being assembled from all points of the compass, including Cochran, Malden and others, all belonging to the same French Resistance group as Wilde. From here we get a series of flashbacks as each witness tells how he or she met Wilde and their experiences during the war years. Cochran tells first how he met Wilde when they were all cornered by the Germans in 1940 in a house outside Paris. Cochran is in the French army, Wilde (an American) and Malden are Foreign Legionaries. The order from the government for French soldiers to lay down their arms and surrender comes over the radio. From this pivotal point the plot proceeds through twists and turns, always gripping us and always surprising us.
As the final titles came up I realised I'd just viewed one of the best B movies I'd ever seen. I highly recommend it to all, a brilliant little film with the ensemble cast at the top of their form. A well-deserved 8/10.