This week’s film is Torn Curtain an interesting movie set in the back-drop of the cold war.


Professor Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman) and his fiancée (Julie Andrews) are travelling to Europe to attend a physics conference; however once they arrive he informs his future wife that he is going elsewhere; she consequently stalks him and they end up on the other side of the Iron Curtain in East Berlin; where Armstrong must obtain some information from a German scientist before they can escape West once more.


The film starts very well with the characters well established as a couple travelling to a conference. There is also several moments of good tension as the audience is forced to wonder exactly what Paul Newman’s character is up to; particularly regarding a mysterious book he must pick up. This mystery and his blatant lying help build up tension and interest in the film, which unfortunately is not maintained throughout.


There are several scenes in the film that are particularly well created with the stand out moment coming in a scene where Armstrong and a farm hand have to murder a German agent. The murder is drawn out and extremely gruesome – for a film of the 60’s and was a surprising inclusion in a film that is otherwise toned down.  


Newman’s performance is also very good as he plays a double agent and attempts to protect himself and his fiancée whilst also attempting to get the information he so desperately seeks.


The film after a promising start begins to lose its edge as it progresses; the final escape sequence is rather lengthy and there is no real sense of danger throughout. It felt very much as though Hitchcock was simply going through the motions of creating tension rather than carefully crafting each shot in order to maximise it. 


Hitchcock makes his cameo in a hotel lobby bouncing a baby upon his knee.



The film is ok but far form brilliant. 3 Hitch’s.

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