EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|ABOVE SUSPICION (director: Richard Thorpe; screenwriters: Keith Winter/Melville Baker/Patricia Coleman/based on the novel by Helen MacInnes; cinematographer: Robert H. Planck; editor: George Hively; music: Bronislau Kaper; cast: Joan Crawford (Frances Myles), Fred MacMurray (Richard Myles), Conrad Veidt (Count Hassert Seidel), Basil Rathbone (Count Sig von Aschenhausen), Reginald Owen (Dr. Mespelbrunn), Ricahrd Ainley (Peter Galt), Cecil Cunningham (Countess von Aschenhausen), Bruce Lester (Thornley); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Victor Saville; MGM; 1943)|
pure escapism, and as such is very entertaining."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
wartime espionage drama engagingly directed by Richard Thorpe ("Night Must Fall"/"Black
Hand"/"Ivanhoe") and written by Keith Winter, Melville
Baker and Patricia
Coleman, is based on the novel
MacInnes. It's pure escapism, and as such is very
In 1939, Oxford professor Richard Myles (Fred MacMurray) and his bride Frances (Joan Crawford) go on a honeymoon in prewar southern Germany. Before they go, Richard's former classmate at Oxford, Peter Galt (Ricahrd Ainley), now with the foreign office, persuades the couple to act as spies for the Brit government while posing as tourists. Their mission is to locate the scientist, unknown to the Secret Service, to obtain details of a new Nazi weapon, a magnetic mine that can blow up vessels underwater. Their sign of friendly contacts along the way is through the song "My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose."
follow a trail of clues that takes them from
Salzburg, where they meet the film's heavy, an
classmate of Richard's, Count
von Aschenhausen (Basil Rathbone), now a high ranking German officer, who
entraps the couple in a secluded Bavarian
and sics the Gestapo on them. They escape with the aid
Salzburg museum tour guide Count
Hassert Seidel (Conrad Veidt, died
a fatal heart attack shortly after completing this
film), who is
working for the
Brits. The couple are given names to help in their
mission and info
about the new Nazi weapon by Dr.
scientist they freed in the Bavarian
castle. The American couple then visit a couple in Innsbruck
them with phony passports. The Myles
are forced to
go their separate
ways for strategy reasons and adorn Tyrolean costumes
Nevertheless Frances is captured when recognized
before she can leave Innsbruck, and is sent to a local
prison camp. With
the help of Seidel and a recent Oxford grad, Thornley
(Bruce Lester), who came to Germany to
assassinate the cruel commandant of Dachau, who
tortured to death his
relatives, at a Liszt concert. The trio raid the
prison camp by
surprising the Gestapo guards and flee by car wearing
but incredulous film ends with the couple crossing the
to safety in the Italian frontier by outracing the
soldiers and a lighthearted MacMurray
then says to wifey, "How
some spaghetti?" It was
that kind of appetizing pic.
REVIEWED ON 10/21/2010 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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