Thursday, 2 June 2011

Berlin Express (1948)

Berlin Express is an interesting film and a fascinating view of post-war Germany, with some fascinating (and disturbing) facts or opinions brought out about both Germany, the Allies and their uneasy alliance, and the effect on civillians on trying to rebuild their lives in a war-torn land.  However as a thriller it suffers greatly from an awkward script and the fact that director Jacques Tourneur couldn't seem to decide whether it was a thriller he wanted to make or a documentary.

Interesting and at times even engrossing, with some unexpected humour along the way, but the voice-over is terribly over-used and the plot is messy.  The basic plot is about a mission to get a German diplomat safely to a summit on how Germany is to be rebuilt, and follows the themes of people naturally suspicious of each other - American, French, Soviet and German - having to learn to trust one another and work together.  A worthy moral perhaps, but the way the film is developed it's not very effective as a thriller. Merle Oberon and Robert Ryan lead the cast.

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