An investigator from the War Crimes Commission (Edward G. Robinson) travels to Connecticut to find an infamous Nazi, who may be hiding out in a small town in the guise of a distinguished professor (Orson Welles).
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Brilliantly directed and photographed but everything else is kinda flat. It's very entertaining but the story is very thin and rather uninteresting and none of the actors give their best performances. Has some good moments but it's a lesser Welles.
It may be "minor Welles", whatever the hell that means, but the man was still too hard on himself. In a rare moment of modesty, Welles said he made the film to prove to Hollywood that "I could say 'action' and 'cut' just like the rest of the fellows". But the film is more lush and mysterious than routine. To prove Orson wrong, all you have to do is look at the first two minutes.
Not bad. Edward G. Robinson has to be the ugliest actor in film history. I loved the bit where Welles gets a spike in his gut on the top of the church. Oh dear, I just spoiled the end for anyone who's not seen it. But who cares?
Even though this film was controlled mostly by the studio we still see some of that Welles brilliance shine through in not only his direction but his performance as the Nazi in hiding as well. This is good as far as noir thrillers go.
Victor Trivas' Oscar nominated story dates pretty well in this tale of Nazi hunting in small town America that was one of the first mainstream films to make reference to the holocaust. Welles, a director for hire here, makes a less showy film that highlights his qualifications as an actor more than a director. Less successful are the turns by Young and Robinson (the range of cardboard) that take away from the film.
Goes off-key in some places, but very Welles-ian nonetheless (whatever dynamism is lost in the 2nd half is more than made up with that dazzling end). I don't exactly understand what there is to disown this film. Love the cheesy symbolism with a clock killing a Nazi.