18 November 2005 | della_robbia
book is much better, and actors miscast
This movie is based on the book of the same name of a woman who worked for the Secretary of the Interior (Ickies) who claimed in the book "to not have met a Jew until he was 16" which could have added to the alienation felt by the nearly 1000 Jews and Christians brought to Oswego, New York in 1944. This movie appears like a soap box from which a very non -Jewish looking Richardson hears the evils of the Nazis during WWII screams at the past, not to real people in the State Department (who definitely knew the Nazis were up to something in the late 1930s/early 1940s). However the point of the book was to not show hate against many of the Americans in the story. The people of Oswego, New York in this movie are shown as communist and disease fearing people who are acting like, "why did this happen to us?". However, in the book they met with their new neighbors as best they could: throwing food/clothes over the fence which separated the two peoples. Many dramatic opportunities were passed up in the story, including the variety show, in which the refugees gave a show for the soldiers on the boat they shared passage.
Could have been much better, if they had stuck to what had happened and read the book about the real Ruth Gruber a truly amazing woman who is not done justice here.