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 entertaining.
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."
The happy-go-lucky American newlyweds
follow a trail of clues that takes them from
to Salzburg, where they meet the film's heavy, an Austrian Oxford
classmate of Richard's, Count
von Aschenhausen (Basil Rathbone), now a high ranking German officer, who
entraps the couple in a secluded Bavarian
castle and sics the Gestapo on them. They escape with the aid of the Salzburg museum tour guide Count
Hassert Seidel (Conrad Veidt, died
of 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.
Mespelbrunn (Reginald Owen), the scientist they freed in the Bavarian
castle. The American couple then visit a couple in Innsbruck who provide
them with phony passports. The Myles
are forced to go their separate
ways for strategy reasons and adorn Tyrolean costumes in disguise.
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 successfully
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 captured Nazi
delightful but incredulous film ends with the couple crossing the Alps
to safety in the Italian frontier by outracing the pursuing Nazi
soldiers and a lighthearted MacMurray
then says to wifey, "How
about some spaghetti?" It was
that kind of appetizing pic.
REVIEWED ON 10/21/2010 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ