Torn Curtain

TornCurtainBB.5

(out of 5)

One of Hitchcock’s dullest thrillers is this uneventful espionage adventure. Two scientists (Paul Newman, Julie Andrews) are attending a work-related conference and having a steamy affair in between lectures. He then announces that he is flying off to Sweden for some research, which she has no problem with until she discovers that he lied to her and is actually flying to Berlin. She follows him on an airplane and, upon landing, discovers that he is defecting to the Communists in order to advance his research. Or is he? Once the film stops using Andrews’ point of view and concentrates all of its time on Newman’s wooden performance it loses all possibility for intrigue. She is then left to mope in hotel rooms while he argues with scientists, all the while trying to get them both safely out of Berlin without getting caught. The suspense never rises, and no matter how much time is spent getting to know the characters, they just can’t manage to work their way into your emotions. Even the photography is flat and boring on this one, something you could never have predicted in a Hitchcock film. Lila Kedrova appears in a supporting role that makes little sense and is very difficult to watch.

USA, 1966

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Screenplay by Brian Moore

Cinematography by John F. Warren

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