Gary Cooper, unusually cast as an atomic scientist, is sent to Europe by the OSS to rescuescientists being forced to cooperate with the Nazi atom bomb project. During his mission, hehooks up with the Italian resistance, falling in love with the feisty Lilli Palmer. Though Langoriginally shot his 1946 thriller with more emphasis on the dangers of atomic power, WarnerBros. re-edited the flick, and most of that theme is now lost, reducing the nuclear angle to a mereHitchcockian McGuff…n: a device to get the chase rolling, and nothing more. The middle sectionof the film is too leisurely for its own good too. On the other hand, there are some verystriking sequences as well (such as the sudden execution of one of the scientists), and thesemoments are worthy of the master.
The case says the sound is 2.0 surround, but you could have fooled me. Two channels maybe used, but the effect is entirely mono. That said, apart from the occasional little burst of static(and very rare at that), the sound is very clean and serviceable, and we are at least spared theproblem of surround voices.
The print is in good, but not terrific, shape. The opening scenes have a fair bit of speckling,and the picture judders up and down. The worst of this soon passes, but both problems recur toa greater or lesser extent off and on. the edge enhancement is quite noticeable at times as well,and there is a brief bit of extreme grain and blurriness late in the film. The black-and-whiteotherwise looks solid, and the contrasts are very, very strong.
Nothing at all, and the menu is basic.
Very much a lesser effort from Fritz Lang, but his import to film history is such that anyrelease of one of his films is worth checking out.
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