The Man Between

1953 post-WWII thriller

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Former-Nazi Ivo Kern works for the Commies in post-war Berlin, aiding in kidnapping and transporting folks from the West to the East. They should have put a freakin' wall there or something! Kern wants out but finds it impossible. Meanwhile, Claire Bloom arrives from England to stay with her sister. A romance seems to develop, but Kern might be using the girl for shady reasons. Or will the two find love and hook up? Oh, those crazy kids!

I liked the second half of this film a lot better than the first, the part of the film where I had to think way too much. Things really get exciting when the characters are sneaking around the shadows of dilapidated Berlin buildings. There's a great score, brilliant cinematography with Third Man-esque broken-tripod camera angles, and terrific shots of a city landscape torn to pieces by war. The cinematography alone makes this worth the price of admission, but moody James Mason and innocent Claire Bloom are good leads. It all builds to one of those endings, a memorable final shot on a snowy street. The story, though parts are a bit confusing taken out of the historical context, is essentially a timeless one of love doomed by place and time. This isn't quite the film that The Third Man or Odd Man Out are, but Carol Reed sure knew how to make "man" movies. That's especially surprising since he had such a sissy name.

This movie supports my theory that films are better when the most of the shots are askew.

1 comment:

cory said...

Funny review. This has been high on my "movies to see" list for awhile. I'll check it out. Mason is very high on my all-time underrated actors list right behind Kirk Douglas. The man just never seemed to give a bad performance.