Anatole Litvak


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Nato in Ucraina, Anatola Litvak si trasferi' in Germania nel 29, dove lavoro' per l'UFA, e poi in Francia, dove diresse Mayerling (1936), un melodramma storico. Nel 1937 emigro' negli USA, dove scopri' il filone "nero".

Tovarich (1937) is a farce in which Russian nobles flee the revolution, entrusted with a fortune. They want to save the money for their homeland, but are penniless. So they take jobs in Paris as servants for a wealthy couple. When the couple throw a party, one of the guests, a Russia, recognizes the royal couple. The French couple doesn't know what to do with the royal refugees. The Russian official want them to return the money to the Soviet Union. The woman eventually decides that it is the right thing to do, because it will help the Russian people even under a different regime. The royal couple remains at the service of the French family.

In The Sisters (1938) three western girls make unhappy marriages at the turn of the century.

Amazing Dr Clitterhouse (1938) is a reverse thriller in which we know from the very beginning "who's done it". The ending (the trial) is a farce, though. A strange hybrid.

Robinson e' un dottore e chirurgo freddo e calcolatore, molto amico di un ispettore di polizia, e si trova sul luogo di una rapina spettacolare, la quarta della serie. In ospedale una sua infermiera scopre che la refurtiva si trova proprio nella sua borsa di lavoro e Robinson non esita a confessarle di essere il ladro. Sempre freddo e impassibile, spiega di avere un interesse professionale a scoprire gli effetti psicologici del crimine e che il modo migliore di farlo e' di diventare egli stesso un criminale.
Avvantaggiato dalle confidenze dell'ispettore, Clitterhouse diventa un fuoriclasse. L'ispettore stesso gli fornisce il nome di un celebre ricettatore. Clitterhouse lo cerca e scopre che si tratta di un'avvenente bionda. Forte dei suoi successi, Clitterhouse convince il famigerato ricercato Rocks (Humphrey Bogart), che vive con la donna, ad allearsi con lui: in cambio del suo aiuto Clitterhouse chiede soltanto che tutti imembri della banda si sottopongano ad un test medico prima e dopo i colpi. Rocks diventa pero' presto geloso del dottore e durante un colpo tenta di farlo morire. Il dottore viene salvato da uno della banda, ma decide che e' ora di mettere fine all'esperimento, anche perche' si sta innamorando della donna. Ma Rocks e' deciso a vendicarsi dell'umiliazione: scopre dove abita e che e' un famoso dottore, e minaccia di ricattarlo di fronte alla donna. Il dottore lo droga e poi, con la complicita` della donna, lo getta nel fiume, entusiasta di poter finalmente studiare gli effetti del crimine per eccellenza: l'omicidio.
Questa volta, pero', la polizia lo smaschera. Clitterhouse confessa la ragione del suo agire, viene processato, ma la giuria non riesce a decidere se l'imputato sia o meno pazzo. Lui sostiene di essere perfettamente sano (il che gli costerebbe la vita) e per tale ragione la giuria alla fine lo dichiara pazzo.
(E` un mistero perche' l'infermiera, estranea ai furti, abbia mantenuto il silenzio durante tutto il tempo).

Confession of a Nazi Spy (1939) is a boring anti-nazi propaganda vehicle.

The film is narrated as if it were the reportage of a real story. For about 45 minutes it deals only with the network of spies that a few nazi fanatics are trying to create in the USA. Then the arrest of one of them starts an investigation, led by Edward Robinson. He traps the nazis one by one. The most coward is the ring leader, a doctor who does not hesitate to betray his own comrades in order to gain immunity and is ready to elope with a young woman and abandon his faithful wife, but is captured by Gestapo agents. The Germans strike back by kidnapping and intimidating the witnesses before the trial. But justice prevails.

Dopo il pugilistico City for Conquest (1940), adapted from Aben Kandel's novel "City for Conquest" (1936), con Cagney, il melodramma All This and Heaven Too (1940), con Bette Davis nei panni di un'istitutrice che provoca una crisi fra due coniugi che si conclude con l'uxoricidio e il suicidio del marito.

Nel 1800, Bette Davis e' un'insegnante di francese che, appena iniziato ad insegnare in un collegio femminile, viene accolta con scherno dalle allieve, che hanno scoperto il suo torbido passato. Decisa a farsi rispettare, racconta la sua storia.
Arrivo' a Parigi come governante inglese; sul traghetto ha conosciuto un aspirante pastore americano. I padroni della casa in cui lavora litigano sempre e hanno quattro figli: tre ragazze e un bambino. La nuova governante viene accolta con cortesia dal marito, con gelosia dalla moglie. Il marito la prende in grande simpatia e si fida ciecamente di lei, molto piu' che della isterica e antipatica moglie. Quando il bambino si ammala gravemente per un'imprudenza della madre, la crisi diventa totale. davis prova a diventare amica della moglie, ma la gelosia di quest'ultima aumenta al punto di costringere il marito a non vederla piu' e a piazzargli un valletto come spia. Lui non puo' ribellarsi perche' dipende dal denaro del suocero. La madre non e' amata neppure dai suoi bambini, che invece adorano la governante. Quando lei, incapace di sopportare oltre di essere la causa della crisi familiare, decide di andarsene, al marito e ai figli si spezza il cuore. La moglie la odia ancora di piu' e la perseguita ancora, godendo del suo dolore e del dolore del marito. Quando il marito lo scopre, la strangola. Dell'omicidio vengono subito sospettati il marito e l'ex-governante, che vengono arrestati. In prigione va a trovarla il pastore americano che aveva conosciuto sul traghetto. Mentre Davis viene interrogata al processo, l'omicida si avvelena. Prima che muoia fanno in tempo a scambiarsi ancora uno sguardo. Lei viene rimessa in liberta' e il pastore le procura il posto in quella scuola.
A quel punto l'insegnante si rivolge alle allieve e chiede loro di finire la storia: la abbracciano piangendo. Il pastore le offrira' il matrimonio.

Castle on the Hudson (1940), a remake of Curtiz's 20000 Years in Sing Sing (1932), is an odd hybrid of gangster film and prison drama.

Tommy is a dangerous gangster who just pulled out another robbery. He is confident he will get away again, as usual. He takes his girl to an expensive restaurant, but the police show up with an arrest warrant for him. Still confident his attorney will sort out things, Tommy tells her that he will be back soon. Instead this time the trial takes place and the jury finds him guilty. Even on his way to the penitentiary, Tommy still exudes confidence that this will be little more than a holiday for him. Instead, his attorney fails to impress or bribe the warden, and Tommy is dumped in a cell like everybody else. Tommy tries to resist the rules, but solitary confinement eventually breaks his will. Tommy lives only for his girlfriend Kay, who comes to visit him frequently, hoping that his attorney will eventually get him out of there. But his attorney is instead flirting with his girlfriend. One day the warden tells Tommy that Kay was in a car accident and is dying at the hospital. The warden let Tommy go to see her for a day, and Tommy gives him his word of honor that he will be back by night. What the warden doesn't know is that the girl hurt herself when she jumped out of the attorney's car, and the reason Kay jumped out of it is that the attorney was molesting her. Tommy finds out when he talks to her, and is determined to take his revenge. When the attorney walks in, they fight it out. Tommy is about to succumb when Kay pulls out a gun and kills the attorney. Kay tells Tommy to run and tries in vain to convince the police that she is the one who pulled the trigger: the evidence points to an escape convict who, in a fit of rage, killed his attorney. Now the warden is ridiculed for trusting a convict and is ready to resign, but Tommy sticks to his word and comes back, even if he knows that this means the electric chair.

Il pacifista This Above All ha Power nei panni di un soldato che non vuole piu' combattere benche' sia coraggioso.

Out of The Fog (1941), from Irwin Shaw's play "The Gentle People", is some sort of Brecht-ian allegory about a peaceful community that has to resort to violence in order to defend itself from violence.

A gangster sets fire to a boat at the harbor. As the whole town rushes to the scene of the crime, he stays inside a saloon and chats with two fishermen who are about to go out on a fishing trip. He then witnesses an argument between one of the fishermen's restless daughter, Stella, and her good boyfriend George. Later, Goff asks the fishermen for protection money or their boat will be next. At the same time, Goff starts seeing Stella, and does not hide his real business and the identity of his new victims. The two fishermen find the guts to turn Goff in to the police, but Goff outsmarts them at the trial. Then Goff goes back to terrorize them. He beats Stella's father, at the same time that he is planning to take her to Cuba with him. The fishermen decide to pay the "protection money" and realize that everybody else in town is doing the same. But it is just a trick: they want him to trust them and get into the boat with them, so they can dispose of him. They don't have the heart of carrying out their plan, but the gangster falls in the waters anyway and dies. The fishermen think they solved all their problems, but, instead, George and Stella get accused of plotting the murder: he is the obvious suspect since he was jealous and had just been beaten by Goff, and Stella is also a suspect because of Goff's persecution of her father. But the police cannot prove their suspicions. The two fishermen found Goff's wallet and keep the money. The Long Night (1947) was a remake of Carné's Le Jour Se Leve, also told entirely in flashback like the original, in which a war veteran, Joe (Henry Fonda), remembers how he ended up murdering a magician.

Sorry Wrong Number (1948) is a masterful film noir and clockwork-like thriller featuring multiple flashbacks with multiple narrators (and even a flashback by one person within a flashback by another person). Sorry Wrong Number (1948), adapted from Lucille Fletcher's radio play, is also a multi-tier metaphor: a narrative metaphor of the telephone as a medium to connect strangers (not only the protagonist and the killer, but also the protagonist and the telephone operators), a metaphor of visual and audio icons that project a sense of fear and impotence, a metaphor of the person trapped inside a house, etc. Litvak creates a drama out of the fundamental property of the telephone: one can hear what the voice is saying, but one cannot see what that person is doing and what is going on around that person.

Leona (Barbara Stanwyck) is a spoiled housewife who spends her day in bed, waiting for her hard-working husband Henry to return home from the office. One day she calls the office number and an interference allows her to overhear a conversation between two people who are plotting the murder of a woman later that evening when a train will pass by. She knows that an innocent is about to be murdered and what time the murder is going to be committed, but can't convince the telephone operator or the police operator to do something about it: either it is not their duty, or the information she provides is too vague. Leona's father calls, looking for her husband. He pretends to be lonely, but instead we see that he is having a wild party. The phone rings: a man named Waldo is frantically looking for Henry. Leona calls her husband's assistant, Elizabeth, and learns that Henry had a lunch date with a young woman, Sally, apparently an old acquaitance (first flashback) and didn't come back to the office after that. Leona tracks down Sally's phone number. While she waits for her to come to the phone, she can hear Sally's husband typing on the typewriter and talking about her husband Henry. Sally is disturbed by the phone call, and seems afraid of discussing Henry in front of her husband, so she tells Leona that she cannot talk and that she will call back. As she hangs up, Leona remembers how she met Henry at a dancehall (second flashback, and first scene with Henry). The young and handsome Henry was dancing with his girlfriend Sally. She (Leona), a friend of Sally, rudely interrupted them and, introducing herself as the heiress she is, asked to dance with Henry, and then invited him for a ride in her new car. He was a drug-store clerk, while she was the daughter of the owner of a drug company. Spoiled, arrogant and used to get what she wants, she (or her wealth) ignored the pleas of her friend Sally (who was in love with Henry), seduced the young man and married him. During the honeymoon, Leona found a photo of Sally in Henry's wallet and tore it apart.
Sally calls from a phone booth and tells Leona that her husband is investigating Henry. Sally describes what happened (third flashback). One day she and her husband Fred, a lawyer, saw an article in the newspaper about Henry being vice-president of the drug-store chain and Leona being afflicted by an illness. That's when her husband told her that he was investigating Henry. Sally secretely followed her husband to figure out what was happening. She realized that they were marking some money to be delivered to a friend of Henry's named Waldo. Sally couldn't make sense of the whole thing but decided to tell Henry (fourth flashback). They met for lunch but Henry was called to a phone booth and never came back. Sally is running out of money from the phone booth and simply tells Leona that Henry and this Waldo are in deep trouble. Someone rings the bell of Leona's house but then disappears. Leona is going crazy. Sally calls back from a station but the noise of a train and the sight of her own husband waiting for the trail disturb their conversation. The phone rings again: a telegram for her, from Henry, saying that he won't be coming home because he suddenly remembered a convention somewhere. Leona, desperate, calls her doctor. The doctor mentions the letter he sent her: she never received any letter. The doctor then tells her what he discussed with her husband (fifth flashback). The doctor asked Henry when he first noticed Leona's illness. Henry recalls (sixth flashback, and flashback within a flashback) how they had their first argument when he wanted to meet a businessman and she didn't want him to: she became hysterical and then fainted, after screaming that it was the first time in her life that she couldn't get what she wanted. When he came home, her father told him that basically he had to be her slave. The next time she had an attack was when they argued over an apartment: Henry wanted a place of their own, but she wanted to keep living in her father's mansion. As Henry finished telling his story, the doctor told him that there was nothing wrong with Leona's heart. Her (somewhat convenient) attacks were due to a psychological, not physiological, condition. In other words, she's a spoiled brat who feigns heart attacks when she can't get what she wants. She is perfectly healthy. We see that Henry got extremely angry at the news (end of the fifth flashback). Now the doctor is telling Leona the same thing, adding that he wrote her a letter than she never received. Leona hangs up hysterical. The phone rings again. It is Waldo again, with a message for Henry: the house burned down, Morano has been arrested, and he (Waldo) escaped safely. She begs Waldo to tell her what is going on. Waldo tells her (seventh flashback) that he is a chemist who has worked for 15 years for Leona's father. Henry convinced him to steal drugs from the company and sell them through a gangster named Morano. The house that burned is the house where they used to carry out the transactions with Morano. Henry and Waldo tried to cheat Morano too, but Morano found out. Morano demanded money and suggested that Henry kill his Leona, making it look like his sick wife died of natural causes, to cash her insurance money. But now (even of seventh flashback) Morano has been arrested by the police (probably because of Fred's investigations in Henry's wrongdoings) and therefore there is no need to pay the money anymore (which also means that there is no need to kill Leona). Waldo leaves a phone number for Henry. Leona can't resist and tries it: it is the phone number of the morgue. Leona is more and more terrified.
She looks terrified at the clock. It is almost the time when the murder is supposed to be committed. Now she is beginning to realize that the murder she overheard about could be hers, and that she may only have five minutes to live. She hears someone walking into the house. The phone rings again: it is Henry, who had second thoughts and wants to warn her. Henry begs her to get out of bed and go to the window to scream for help. But she cries that she can't walk because of her illness. We hear the noise of the train that is coming: the murder is planned for that very moment. Henry frantically tries to convince her to get out of bed, but she just can't. We see the shadow of the killer as he approaches her bed and then his hand as he neatly hangs up the phone. The phone rings again: it is a desperate Henry calling Leona. The killer picks it up and replies "sorry, wrong number". We can see that someone has opened the phone booth behind Henry, probably the police officer who is about to arrest him.
Litvak e' maestro nel costruire il senso di prigionia, di paura e di impotenza, soprattutto grazie ai dettagli sonori.

Snake Pit (1948) was a psychological and social thriller based on the novel by Mary Jane Ward during the time that Freud's theories were popular in cinema. Indirectly, this also became a study of how mental patients are treated by society. The science behind the plot is naive at best, but that is not the point. There is an eerie allegory behind the story. This is a woman who failed to start an independent career (as a writer) and heals when she accepts to be an ordinary housewife. The process of healing is a process of accepting who she is and what she can be.

Virginia is a young woman sitting on a bench. She hears a male voice and replies to his stupid questions. She is getting annoyed but then suddenly realizes that the only person sitting nearby is a woman. There is no man asking her questions. The woman talks to her like she knows her well. Virginia is surprised that the stranger knows her name. The stranger tells her that she (the stranger) will be leaving from there soon. Virginia is still clueless what "there" is. The two women and many other women walk back into a large building in an ordered line. Virginia is still clueless about what is going on. A nurse shows her in and asks Virginia if she enjoyed the sun. Virginia is puzzled and reflects that people are nice in this city. Then she starts suspecting that she is in a prison and gets afraid. A doctor talks to her. The doctor obviously knows her and is kind to her, but her eyes betray that she doesn't recognize anybody. She thinks that he must be the warden of the prison. There's another man standing by. The doctor, Kik, asks her if she can remember her husband. Virginia is confused. The man standing in front of her is actually her husband Robert.
She is an inmate at a mental institution. Later the doctor chats alone with the husband. A flashback shows how Robert, an agent at a publishing house, met Virginia, an attractive and smart aspiring writer. He fell in love, but she disappeared without a word. He met her again in another city. She had no explanation for her mysterious disappearance. They started dating. One day she suddenly wanted to get married right away. He became puzzled by her sudden mood changes and erratic behavior. In particular, she snapped on being told that it was the 12th of may. Soon it became obvious that she was losing her mind.
The doctor asks the husband to authorize shock treatment which might help bring up the subconscious cause of her illness. Her conditions are further made miserable by the way the hospital is run: the doctor is humane with his patients, but all the patients sleep together in one giant warehouse-like dormitory. Suddenly one night Virginia wakes up from her mad state and asks the doctor how long she's been there. She realizes that she's a patient in a mental hospital. She now remembers having a husband but can't explain why she behaved the way she did. The doctor is pleased to hear that she has made so much progress, but wants to understand the causes of her illness. In particular, why the date of May 12 has such a traumatic effect on her.
When she meets her husband, she is dubious that he is really her husband. The doctor is opposed to letting her go out with her husband, but the board of the hospital reminds him that they are overcrowded and they can't afford to keep but the most serious cases. The doctor wants to try one more therapy on her: hypnosis. He wants to find out why she ran away from Robert the first time. Under hypnosis she remembers when her boyfriend Gordon proposed to her. They were in the car. She felt sick (obviously she didn't want to marry him) and asked to be taken home. Gordon made a u-turn and hit a truck. Gordon died in the accident.
Virginia is so aware of her condition now that she tells Robert she should divorce her. She is examined by the entire staff of the hospital in what constitutes a test to decide if patients can be dismissed. Doctor Kik tries to stop the interrogation realizing the risks. She is instead tortured in front of a large audience. She can't answer simple questions about her life. Eventually she breaks down. She has a nightmare of somebody drowning in a river, and of she falling into that river.
She is transferred to a more humane ward and continues to make progress in remembering her buried past. She now remembers her love for her father and how mean she was to her mother. Her father got sick and died. A nurse dislikes her. Virginia realizes that the nurse is in love with doctor Kik and is jealous of her. The moment she says it Virginia realizes that the nurse could cause her trouble. Virginia panics. She locks herself in a bathroom. They convince her to open the door with a lie. She gets hysterical that they lied to her. It doesn't help that she is transferred to the ward of a different doctor. She is placed in the worst place, an overcrowded place in which she is constantly surrounded by crazy people who scream and act wildly.
Doctor Kik tells her what his theory is: her madness was caused by the irrational sense of guilt for having somehow caused the death of her father. Gordon was so similar to her father that she liked him but also couldn't marry him. Robert instead was so different from her father that she felt she was betraying the memory of father. She is virtually healed now.
At the dance of the mental asylum Virginia takes care of a newcomer, Esther, She knows that she healed because the doctor talked to him, and would like to do the same to Esther. who is in the same condition that Virginia was when she first arrived. Virginia now asks doctor Kik for personal matters. He is still single. The doctor makes fun that a patient is not allowed to question her doctor.
This time she passes the test in front of the board. She repeats like a good student that the cause of her illness was in her childhood, etc: everything that the doctor told her. Her husband comes to pick her up.

Litvak adotta uno stile di regia sensazionalista, indulgendo in scene brutali e melodrammatiche e narrando la storia dal punto di vista della paziente (pertanto con anomalie di inquadratura e di colonna sonora).

Seguirono per lo piu` melodrammi commerciali.

Decision Before Dawn (1951):

Un agente tedesco al servizio degli alleati viene paracadutato con i soldati americani sulla francia e salva i compagni riconoscendo una spia tedesca, ma viene ucciso.

Act of Love (1953) is a romantic melodrama, overlong and ruined by too many stereotypes and by an implausible ending.

A US citizen, Bob (Kirk Douglas), arrives at a seaside town. He claims to be just a tourist and looks for a specific hotel. He says he has never been there but he knows the room he wants. While he's waiting for the room to be cleaned, he meets a girl.
A flashback shows his friends during the war that has just ended. After getting wounded, he and a friend were assigned to the already liberated Paris in the last days of the war.
After a fight with a fellow soldier Bob decides to look for a room and asks for the help of a prostitute who loves him, Nina (but, she says, he came four years too late). Bob is a cynical pessimist who has lost interest in life. The prostitute finds him a room in the inn run by a nice couple, Adele and Fernand, who have a rude son, Claude. The only condition is that they rent only to married people, so the prostitute also finds him a girl willing to play his wife, Lise. Nina looks like a simple, honest girl, but she also has the desperate look. She is basically starting a new career as a prostitute, and tells Nina that she wishes she had the courage to kill herself instead. Nina cheers her up and teaches her how to look sexy. After making the introduction, Nina has to leave. Claude is clearly hostile to Bob, and to all US soldiers in general. Lise coldly tells Bob that she has no family left, no money and no identity papers. Then she starts crying and asks to leave rather than prostitute herself. Bob leaves her alone. Claude tells Lise that he despises women who sell themselves to the foreign occupier. She looks for a job but she's routinely asked for sex in return for work. Bob actually likes Lise. He convinces her to go out on a date and, contrary to her expectations, they have a lot of fun. Lise tells him of a little seaside town and a hotel where her parents used to take her as a child. At the same time Claude becomes friendlier and learnes to respect her.
One night the police raids the inn after someone reports a crime. They ask Lise for the documents that prove her marriage. She doesn't have them and is arrested. Informed by the good landlord, Bob begs his superior to intervene. Lise is released, but she is ashamed that now everybody knows she is not a married woman. Claude treats her like a prostitute. Bob, however, proposes to her, and promises to take her back to the hotel of her childhood. Unfortunately, his superior refuses to give him the permission to get married. Bob is still determined to marry her and gives her an appointment in the morning after making all the arrangements. What he doesn't know is that his superior, determined to protect him from an impulsive marriage, has ordered his transfer to a distant base. Bob asks his buddy to fake the document that he needs to get married. Bob then jumps off the truck that is taking him away and runs to the appointment with Lise. Unfortunately, he is arrested by the military police before he can see her. Claude helps the police officers by throwing his bicycle in front of Bob while he's trying to escape. She waits in vain for hours until one of the police officers calls her to tell her that Bob will not come. Claude finds her all alone and desperate, and mocks her. She walks away like a zombie, towards the river.
The flashback ends and we are back to the first scene. Now we know why Bob is at that hotel, and wants that specific room, the room that Lise told him about. Bob meets the last person he would like to meet: his old superior, who is now a typical US tourist in France. His superior makes fun of the girl whom Bob wanted to marry. Bob replies that they found her dead in the river.

Anastasia (1956):

Brinner approfitta di una giovane russa (Bergman) affetta da un'amnesia per montare una gigantesca truffa e farla passare per la figlia dell'ultimo Zar; dopo essere passata agli esami piu' difficili, sta per trionfare, ma Brinner se ne e' innamorato e rinuncia a tutto pur di averla per se'.

Journey (1958):

Un gruppo di occidentali, che sta cercando di lasciare l'Ungheria occupata dai sovietici, viene trasportato su un autobus verso Vienna perche' l'aeroporto e` stato chiuso. Sull'autobus viaggia una folla eterogenea (un po' alla Stagecoach di John Ford). In particolare, c'e` un'aristrocatica inglese che finge di non conoscere un altrettanto misterioso passeggero. Durante il viaggio il passeggero si sente male e si scopre cosi` che e` ferito: la donna accorre ad aiutarlo.
Lungo la strada verso il confine vengono fermati dai partigiani che lottano contro i sovietici. Quando pensano di avercela fatta, proprio a pochi chilometri dal confine vengono fermati dai sovietici. Il maggiore li interroga e li obbliga a restare in paese. Li tratta come ospiti, ma di fatto sono tenuti prigionieri nella villa trasformata in quartier generale. La villa e` anche oggetto di attacchi sporadici da parte dei partigiani comandati da un'intrepida ragazza. La donna protegge l'uomo misterioso che e` in realta` un dissidente ungherese di cui si era innamorata e che venne arrestato e torturato. Separata da lui per anni, lo vuole aiutare a fuggire. Alcuni dei compagni di sventura scoprono pero` la sua vera identita` e si spaventano davanti al rischio di proteggere un ricercato, tanto piu` che il maggiore comincia a sospettare qualcosa. La donna organizza allora la fuga sua e dell'amico con l'aiuto della resistenza. Il maggiore si e` a sua volta innamorato della donna, e va su tutte le furie quando li sorprende nella barca e capisce il tradimento. Sequestra tutti gli occidentali, fa arrestare l'ungherese e denuncia la donna alle autorita`. Gli ordini sono di rispedirli tutti a Budapest, ma la donna, accusata di egoismo dai vili passeggeri, va a offrirsi al maggiore. Il maggiore li lascia andare e lascia persino fuggire l'ungherese, che si ricongiunge alla donna. Fanno appena in tempo a passare il ponte ed entrare in Austria che si ode un colpo di fucile: il maggiore e` stato ucciso dai partigiani.

Aimez_vous Brahms/ Goodbye Again (1961) is a faithful but mediocre adaptation of Francoise Sagan's novel "Aimez-Vous Brahms?"

Paula (Ingrid Bergman) is a middle-aged businesswoman with an affectionate childish maid. She has been dating the wealthy and charming businessman Roger (Yves Montand) who neglects her. He misses the fifth anniversary of the night they met but then picks up a sexy young girl by the sidewalk. She is a decorator and is hired by a rich woman to redecorate her mansion. She meets her young entertaining son, Phillip (Anthony Perkins). The young man is immediately fascinated by her and is quite aggressive. Phillip, an aspiring lawyer, is reckless to the point of continuously cheating at work. He makes up stories all the time. One night Phillip meets Roger and Paul at a nightclub. He is drunk and flirts with the woman in a clumsy way that amuses Roger. Meanwhile, Roger doesn't even recognize the sexy young girl who happens to be sitting at the bar. Paula and Roger give Phillip a ride home. He falls asleep on Paula's breast like a child. The following day Phillip walks into Paula's shop to apologize and takes her to lunch. She is flattered but treats him like a child. Meanwhile, Roger is seducing yet another sexy young girl, who is totally charmed by the old womanizer. Roger even denies having a fiance when she asks him. Roger calls Paula to tell her that he has to go away on a business trip. The truth is that he is going away with the sexy girl and, by accident, Phillip sees them. Phillip shakes his head in disbelief. When Phillip meets Paula at his place, he turns off the lights and tries to kiss her, but she coldly asks him to let her go. The next evening he invites her to a classical music concert. He tells her he loves her and questions Roger's love to her but she is absolutely faithful. He guesses her loneliness and unhappiness but she gets angry when he mentions it aloud. When Roger finally comes back, she is emotional. She lets him read a love message that Phillip sent her. Phillip decides to leave her alone and focus on his law studies. Paula takes Phillip to the party that Phillip's mother throws to show her friends the result of Paula's work. Roger is bored to death by the old aristocratic crowd. Phillip arrives unexpectedly and sits right next Paula. Roger drives her home in a very bad mood and coldly tells her that he is leaving again for a business trip. Phillip has followed them and, taking advantage of her sadness, kisses her. She tells him she doesn't want to see him again, but Phillip insists and finally succeeds. When Roger comes back, Paula tells him the truth. Roger now is sorry. They don't see each other for two months. He keeps sleeping with young girls but is not happy. She keeps sleeping with Phillip and is happier. Roger calls Paula and invites her on a vacation but she politely declines. She has fun with Phillip but society disapproves such a younger man. Phillip's mother tries to talk to Paula but she refuses. Phillip's employer tells Phillip that he has received pressures from his mother to transfer him to New York. Phillip resigns. One night Paula is dancing with Phillip at a club where Roger is dancing with the young girl du jour. Roger follows her home and talks to her. He misses her. She takes him back. It breaks her heart to kick Phillip out, but she tells him "I'm old!" Roger marries Paula. It's just a new trick to enslave her: he resumes his usual life, but now Paula is tied more securely to him.

Five Miles to Midnight (1963)

Night of the Generals (1967), based on a best-selling novel by Hans Hellmut Kirst, is a long and mediocre war thriller.

durante l'occupazione nazista un maggiore indaga l'omicidio di una prostituta e i suoi sospetti si concentrano su tre generali, ma prima che possa concludere le indagini viene trasferito; eccetto che due anni dopo un'altra prostituta viene uccisa e gli stessi tre generali sono nella sua citta`. Il colpevole alla fine si suicida.
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