|NIGHT PEOPLE (director/writer: Nunnally Johnson; screenwriters: story by Jed Harris &Tom Reed; cinematographer: Charles G. Clarke; editor: Dorothy Spencer; music: Cyril Mockridge; cast: Gregory Peck (Col. Steve Van Dyke ), Broderick Crawford (Charles Leatherby), Anita Bjork ('Hoffy' Hoffmeier), Rita Gam (Ricky Cates), Walter Abel (Maj. R.A. Foster, MD), Buddy Ebsen (Sgt. Eddie McColloch), Max Showalter (Frederick S. Hobart), Jill Esmond (Frau Schindler), Ted Avery (Cpl. John Leatherby), Peter van Eyck (Sergei 'Petey' Petrochine); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Nunnally Johnson; Fox; 1954)|
|"It's a first-rate
crafted commercial Cold War espionage
by Dennis Schwartz
It's a first-rate
crafted commercial Cold War espionage tale. One
that has a tricky plot. It might have been
better served if filmed in black and white
instead of a gaudy Technicolor. Nunnally Johnson
("The Woman in the Window"/"The Desert Fox"/"The
Three faces of Eve"), former Herald Tribune writer,
directs, produces and writes the screenplay for a
story by Jed Harris &Tom Reed.
Peck is an American colonel in postwar Berlin on a
government mission to bring back a U.S. corporal (Ted
Avery) kidnapped by the Russian Communists. Things get
tangled when the G.I.'s well-connected industrial
magnate father, Broderick Crawford,
demands his son's release at any cost. The Russians
demand in exchange that the Americans turn over an
elderly German couple to the East Germans, who were
anti-Nazi activists involved in the failed plot to
assassinate Hitler. Things get further complicated
when Peck learns one of his aides, Anita Bjork, is
working with the Soviets.
spy drama intriguingly mixes current Cold War scares
with past Nazi ones.
look authentic since it's filmed in bombed-out Berlin.
lively thriller excites with its cloak-and-dagger plot
twists and the menacing tone it sets during a tense
time in world affairs.
REVIEWED ON 9/8/2015 GRADE: B+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ