Dead Men Are Dangerous

This bears directly on Antonioni’s Professione: Reporter as the tale of a failed writer who trades identities with a corpse in possession of a diary that incriminates a London bigwig.

A sterling nightmare, delicately handled, a case of murder for which who should be sought but the writer, whose works are now in posthumous demand.

The fool chucks the diary away like his rejected second manuscript and prepares to leave the country, but there’s a demand for it, too, that diary.

His publisher admires his writing, “almost brilliant”, and blames “market conditions”.

Hyde Park figures centrally.

Halliwell’s Film Guide describes it as “lethargic”.


The Day Will Dawn

A London newspaper sends its equine sports reporter (Hugh Williams) to cover the war from Norway.

His rapidly-acquired knowledge serves the Admiralty well, he’s volunteered to parachute in again and pinpoint submarine pens camouflaged within a fjord.

He’s about to be executed along with hostages and the Norwegian girl he loves (Deborah Kerr) when a raid by British troops in landing craft sweeps the town.

Poland is identified as not merely the start of the war in Europe but its emblem, Nazis and Quislings screen a propaganda film on the fighting to intimidate Norwegian government officials before the invasion.

A very convincing picture of barbarity unleashed on the continent and the seas, with the correspondent a stand-in for all the prisoners of the Nazi regime who fight and endure.

The musical challenge at the Blĺ Tonne comes a little before the one in Casablanca and ends with a brawl.


Secret Mission

To Occupied France, kept secret from the audience until the British and one Free French soldier are in St. Antoine, to discover the German forces and incidentally locate an underground aerodrome and also liberate a captured airman.

In other words, to be in France.

This work of genius is quite typical of its director.

Radio Times is impossible, “a modicum of excitement... embarrassingly twee... unremarkable fare...”

Halliwell’s Film Guide reports that it is “stilted”.

The Polish armored searchlight car appropriated by the Nazis to belabor French sleep with Tannhäuser is a great precedent for the Martian war machines in Haskin’s The War of the Worlds.


The Blind Goddess

Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington understood after the war as a libel case in England.

Michael Denison, as in Lawrence Huntington’s The Franchise Affair, is a useful simulacrum of James Stewart to identify the thing.

The graft involves U.N. funds for displaced persons.

A.W. of the New York Times pronounced it “merely myopic and rather routine.”

“A glimpse of the hell that must have been 1948” (Time Out Film Guide).

Halliwell’s Film Guide chimes in with A.W.


Adam and Evelyne

Many a film goes into Minnelli’s Gigi, Renoir & Dieudonné’s Catherine, for example, and De Sica’s Teresa Venerdě, this is a prime specimen and particularly close to the finished result.

The “shimmy game” leads to a speculation as Robin and the 7 Hoods (dir. Gordon Douglas) before French settles down (with Erich Pommer’s Vessel of Wrath) to the eventual proposition.


The Man Who Watched Trains Go By

A beautiful masterpiece in Technicolor cinematography by Otto Heller, very closely related to such a work as Lang’s Scarlet Street, on an altogether different theme in a way. It means nothing to keep the books at a three-hundred-year-old firm in Groningen, the boss simply burns them, liquidates the firm, and lights out.

Thus we have the wider European economy to consider, as one might say. The chief clerk, a humble man and good at his job, sees that accounts are balanced.

This seemed to Bosley Crowther of the New York Times “implausible” and the film a “rattler”.

“Modest miscast Simenon,” says Halliwell’s Film Guide, “not exactly badly made but with no spark of excitement or suspense.”

The score by Benjamin Frankel demands mention.

Variety complimented the cast, Tom Milne (Time Out Film Guide) considered Claude Rains “perfectly cast” but “the film degenerates”, he said, “into crude, predictable melodrama,” alas.

The curious structure of Furie’s The Naked Runner might have its remote origins here.