|HOTEL RESERVE (directors: Victor Hanbury/Lance Comfort/Max Greene; screenwriters: based on the Eric Ambler novel "Epitaph for a Spy"/John Davenport; cinematographer: Max Greene; editor: Sid Stone; music: Lennox Berkeley; cast: James Mason (Peter Vadassy), Lucie Mannheim (Mme Suzanne Koch), Raymond Lovell (Robert Duclos), Herbert Lom (Andre Roux), Martin Miller (Walter Vogel), Julien Mitchell (Michel Beghin), Clare Hamilton (Mary Skelton), Frederick Valk (Schimler/Heinberger), Valentine Dyall (); Runtime: 79; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Victor HanburyLance Comfort/Max Greene; TCM (RKO); 1944-UK)|
|"The pic serves as a morale
booster for the English public during
by Dennis Schwartz
obscure mystery thriller, with Brits acting as French
and Germans, that's poorly directed by threesome
of Victor Hanbury ("Escape
to Danger"), Lance
Comfort (Tomorrow at Ten") and Max Greene ("The
Man From Morocco"). It's based on the excellent 1938
Eric Ambler novel "Epitaph for a Spy." John
Davenport delivers the screenplay. Its
mostly interesting to see the young James Mason in
action, who gives a marvelous performance.
Vadassy (James Mason)
is an Austrian medical student on holiday in the
south of France, who seeks refugee status by
renouncing his Austrian citizenship. The police
accuse him of being a spy because he's caught taking
pictures of a top secret military facility, outside
of Toulon, just before the onset of WW
II. To prove his innocence, Peter agrees
to work with Michel Beghin (
Julien Mitchell) of French Naval
Intelligence to track down the real spy among
his fellow guests.
The pic serves as a morale booster for the English public during wartime. It's also a visually attractive film, though hampered because it's so slow moving.
REVIEWED ON 10/26/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ