Torn Curtain (1966)

PG   |    |  Thriller


Torn Curtain (1966) Poster

An American scientist publicly defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin before planning an escape back to the West.


6.7/10
22,861

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  • "Torn Curtain," Director Alfred Hitchcock on set. 1966 Universal.
  • Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in Torn Curtain (1966)
  • Paul Newman and Wolfgang Kieling in Torn Curtain (1966)
  • "Torn Curtain," Director Alfred Hitchcock & Paul Newman, on the set. 1966 Universal
  • Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in Torn Curtain (1966)
  • "Torn Curtain," Princess Margaret & Alfred Hitchcock on the set. 1966 Universal

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Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writer:

Brian Moore

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23 June 2006 | bkoganbing
5
| Stealing What's Locked Up in the Grey Cells
Paul Newman nuclear physicist has volunteered for an unusual espionage mission. He's to fake a defection in order to get close to East German scientist Ludwig Donath and find out what advances he personally has given the Soviet bloc.

As he says to agent Mort Mills, he's one of the few people in the world who would know exactly what to look for. The trick is to make Donath write it down.

Nice plan, except for that fact that intrepid Julie Andrews, Newman's fiancé suspects something's up and follows him first to Copenhagen and then East Berlin. It would have run so much easier without her, but then again there would have been no film.

This was Alfred Hitchcock's last star vehicle. His last three films were done with second rank players. At the time this was made Julie Andrews was fresh from Mary Poppins and had all kinds of roles offered her. I suppose she couldn't turn down a chance to appear in a Hitchcock film, but she and Newman really have no chemistry at all. I suppose Newman also wanted to work with Hitchcock.

There are some good moments in Torn Curtain. The highlight easily has to be the killing of an East German security agent by Newman and Carolyn Conwell with the creative use of a gas stove. The agent is played by German actor Wolfgang Kieling and has the best role in the film. Funny how during World War II, Germans were sometimes shown as colossally stupid, Kieling is not. He's a very tough and shrewd adversary who catches on to Newman's scheme and has to be eliminated.

Hitchcock also stole from himself here. The ride and Newman and Andrews take on a bus from Leipzig to East Berlin that is stage managed by David Opatoshu is ripped off from Saboteur and the bus passengers are just like the circus people in Saboteur. Good, but done before.

Devoted fans of the stars and of Alfred Hitchcock will want to see Torn Curtain, others might want to for curiosity's sake.

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