EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|GREEN GLOVE, THE (AKA: THE WHITE ROAD) (AKA: THE GAUNTLET) (director: Rudolph Maté; screenwriter: story by Charles Bennett/Charles Bennett; cinematographer: Claude Renoir; editor: Lola Barache; music: Joseph Kosma; cast: Glenn Ford (Mike Blake), Geraldine Brooks (Chris Kenneth), Cedric Hardwicke (Father Goron), George Macready (Count Paul Rona), Roger Treville (Inspector Faubert), Gaby Andre (Gaby Saunders), Jany Holt (The Countess), Georges Tabet (Jacques Piotet), Meg Lemonnier (Madame Piotet), Juliette Greco (Singer), Roger Legris (Conrad Vernot); Runtime: 88; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Georges Maurer; Alpha Video; 1952-USA/France)|
that has a few twists but bogs down over too many hysterical
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
("D.O.A."/"Union Station"/"Miracle in the Rain") directs this standard
thriller, that has a few twists but bogs down over too many hysterical
melodramatic moments and the unbelievability of the characters and
story line. It's weakly scripted by Charles Bennett and is
based on his novel.
During World War II, in 1944, at the time of the
Allied invasion to liberate the south of France, American paratrooper
Lt. Mike Blake (Glenn Ford)
bails out over enemy lines in Monte Carlo and lands in an abandoned
building. There he discovers on-the-run Polish Nazi sympathizer Count Paul Rona
(George Macready), an international art dealer, and arrests him as a
collaborator despite Rona's bargain offer if he lets him go free he
will be given info on a German counter-attack at dawn and that he will
also be given an invaluable medieval religious artifact - a bejeweled green
glove called the Gauntlet, an item he stole from an isolated church in the village
of St. Elizar, that he possesses in his leather briefcase.
Then a bomb falls in the area knocking Blake out while Rona escapes,
but without the Green Glove. An honest French couple, who live there,
revive Blake and he accepts their kind offer to hold the briefcase for
safekeeping until after the war.
the war a broke Blake returns to France to recover the Green Glove and
sell it to an art dealer, despite knowing it belongs to the church.
While at the Eiffel Tower, Blake notes he's being
followed and gets American tour guide Chris Kenneth (Geraldine Brooks) to delay the pursuer
while he escapes. Later while wining and dining the bubbly Chris,
Blake's informed by Inspector Faubert (Roger Treville), of the Paris police, that a man (Roger Legris) has been found dead in his hotel room
holding a sketch of him. The corpse is ID'd by the couple as the man
following Blake. So the cops ask the American to remain in
Paris for further questioning, believing there's a link to the dead man
and Blake. But the determined Blake decides to flee to Monte Carlo.
We're asked to believe
that Chris leaves her job and follows Blake to
Monte Carlo, even though she has no idea why he's going there and that
he's a stranger she just met who could possibly be up to no good.
The cops follow the couple on
the train, but are not aware that Rona also has his men on Blake's
tail. When the detective following Blake is killed by one of Rona's
henchman, the cops believe that he was killed by Blake and intensify
their investigation of him. As Blake has a change of heart and decides
to the right thing and return the Green Glove to the church at St. Elizar, which
sits atop a mountain, he finds himself in great danger from Rona's goon
squad and depends on Chris to get word to Flaubert in Monte Carlo what
he's up to. The film revives from a long dead spell to come to life
with a stirring climax, that has Blake successfully scale the steep
church wall though followed by a pistol-wielding Rona. Blake is
determined to return the Gauntlet to its rightful place so the bells
could once again ring in the church.
There's a good story here,
but too bad it wasn't told convincingly and the featured sudden romance
came about so quickly that it was not possible for me to believe it;
nor was I able to find the suspense story even close to the way a
top-notch director like Hitchcock would have built up the suspense and
made things more exciting (If not convinced then perhaps check out "The 39 Steps," directed by Hitchcock and
also written by Bennett!). The
former cinematographer Maté can't keep things real and all the plot
points seem nothing short of schematic. But Glenn Ford is in it, and
he's so good in these type of adventure roles that he at least keeps
the flawed pic entertaining.
REVIEWED ON 1/23/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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