Approved | | Drama, Romance, War
A British woman trying to escape Hungary with her freedom fighter lover and a group of Westerners, as the Soviet Union moves to crush the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, finds herself the obsession of an enigmatic Communist officer.
Loosely based on the short story by Guy de Maupassant, « Boule de suif » (literally "Ball of Fat", though "Dumpling" or "Butterball" might be better translations). Set during the Franco-Prussian War, it's been used as the basis for other films/TV episodes as well. In this case, Deborah Kerr's Lady Ashmore is quite different than the prostitute "Dumpling" in the original story, but while Yul Brynner's Major Surov has more depth and humanity than the Prussian officer in Maupassant's story, the basic motivation for his attraction is similar, though perhaps less vulgar. In both cases, her fellow travelers selfishly and ignobly pressure "Dumpling"/"Lady Ashmore" to sacrifice herself to the officer for their freedom.
Anything goes when people meet for the last time.
Diana Ashmore: What do you mean?
Major Surov: Go to any railway station - that's what I mean. You'll see people doing things they'd never do, ordinarily. They kiss, they cry, they wave. That's the sickness of our time: people ...
In the final scene, as the camera dollies back from Major Surov's jeep, a camera/equipment shadow is visible on the jeep's right front tire.
English, Russian, Hungarian
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