Monday, February 28, 2011


A fairly routine WWII thriller about Underground operations in Norway. Merle Oberon is a Norwegian woman who is shunned by the locals for her intimate relationship with a Nazi major (Carl Esmond), but what they don't know is that she is an important informant for the Underground; when Esmond lets slip some secret plans to her, she passes them along to an eye doctor (Fritz Leiber) who passes them along to the Allies. Soon, the Nazis realize there is a security leak somewhere and British spy Brian Aherne sneaks into Norway to pull off a raid and kill Esmond before he can figure out the truth about Oberon. However, when he and his buddy (Erik Rolf) are betrayed by a local, Rolf is killed and a wounded Aherne is captured. After Oberon helps him escape from the hospital, Esmond's superiors become suspicious of her; to allay their fears, Esmond proposes marriage to Oberon. He also, as a test, leaks false information to her, and when it becomes clear that she has indeed passed that info on, Esmond doesn't tell anyone else, but instead makes sinister plans for their wedding night. This isn't a bad movie, but not a very exciting one until the last 15 minutes or so when it becomes a cat-and-mouse game between our three leads. Oberon is lovely but only so-so in the acting department; Aherne is better, though at times it seems like he's shooting for a Cary Grant impersonation. Erville Alderson, Oberon's faithful butler, was Gladys Cooper's butler in THE BISHOP'S WIFE. This was the last film of director Dorothy Arzner (CRAIG'S WIFE). [TCM]

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