This is one for the trainspotters - Burt Lancaster utterly pathetic as a laughably un-French Resistance fighter. Not one of Paul Scofield's greatest roles - more wooden than a chopping block. The ending is ludicrously "gunfight at the OK Corral" except that Scofield forgot his gun and got mown down (THAT'S A SPOILER - but then you can't spoil rubbish). Jeanne Moreau was good.
Apart the fact that is ridiculous to have the actors speaking english with different accents to suggest different nationalities, this film is a proof that Frankenheimer is up with the great "action" directors of North-American cinema.The intricate and amazing structure of the script is always strikingly articulated with a search for a visuality, at least as engaging as a fiction where constant surprises are implicit.
This cracking story based on real-life events is masterfully directed by Frankenheimer at the top of his game, as indeed are Lancaster and the rest of a wholly credible cast. Performances are layered, visceral and never fall into parody or pastiche. Throughout is a deep sense of national pride and humane dignity which contrasts brilliantly with the raw cinematography and impressive, intense set-pieces. A masterpiece.
¿Cuántas vidas se requieren para salvar pinturas de Van Gogh y Picasso? ¿Cuántos hombres el sacrificarse para rescatar cuadros de Gaughin, Renoir y Cézanne, tesoros nacionales de Francia? La respuesta está en este excelente thriller de John Frankenheimer, con un Burt Lancaster que está, simplemente, a todo vapor. Una heist movie "por amor al arte" que te tendrá con los nervios de punta.
What a knockout! Here's prime Frankenheimer in the middle of one of the best streaks of artistic successes I can imagine. Not a stitch of it has anything to do with actual events, but its narrative thrust and ultimate humanity make it a real winner.