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The Great Manhunt (1950)

State Secret (original title)
In post-WW2 Europe, when the dictator of a small police state dies during surgery, the operating surgeon, who's a visiting American doctor, is held captive in order to preserve the terrible state secret.

Director:

Sidney Gilliat

Writers:

Roy Huggins (novel), Sidney Gilliat (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Dr. John Marlowe
Jack Hawkins ... Colonel Galcon
Glynis Johns ... Lisa Robinson
Walter Rilla ... General Niva
Karel Stepanek ... Dr. Revo
Herbert Lom ... Karl Theodor
Hans Olaf Moser Hans Olaf Moser ... Sigrist (as Hans Moser)
Guido Lorraine Guido Lorraine ... Lieutenant Prachi
Robert Ayres ... Arthur J. Buckman
Howard Douglas ... Clubman
Martin Boddey ... Clubman
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Clubman
Arthur Howard Arthur Howard ... Clubman
Carl Jaffe Carl Jaffe ... Janovic Prada / Tugboat Captain
Gerard Heinz ... Tomasi Bendel
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Storyline

Visiting in England, famed American surgeon Doctor John Marlowe is decoyed to a middle European country, and discovers the operation he is to perform is on the Vosnian dictator. When the latter dies, he is replaced by a look-alike, but Marlowe is the object of a shoot-to-kill, vicious pursuit by the secret police of Vosnia since it is vital to Vosnia that the dictator's death does not become known. Fleeing, he seeks help from an English-speaking actress, Lisa Robinson, and the two are harried across the countryside before being captured. (Produced by the British team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat "in association with London Films" and released in the U.S. by Columbia Pictures Corporation.) Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

ADVENTURE SWEEPING ACROSS A CONTINENT! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 September 1950 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Manhunt See more »

Filming Locations:

Dolomites, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is set in the mythical country of "Vosnia", which, according to director Sidney Gilliat, was meant to suggest either Spain (to left-wingers) or what was then Yugoslavia (to right-wingers). A special "Vosnian" language was devised for the film by Georgina Shield, a teacher at the London School of Languages, and several of the actors took lessons in how to speak it over a period of several days, as it is extensively heard in the film. See more »

Goofs

At the 'river docks', a London bus is visible in the background passing over the bridge. The stern of the 'barge' shown is also very clearly that of an English narrowboat, found nowhere on the Continent. See more »

Quotes

Lisa Robinson: [Last Line] I think I'm going to be sick.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beyond Recognition (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Paper Doll
(uncredited)
Written by Johnny Black
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant but sadly underrated political thriller.
8 October 2006 | by Oblomov-2See all my reviews

"State Secret" is one of the best political thrillers that I have ever seen. The storyline, script, acting, photography and direction are all top notch. Considering that the film is over 50 years old, it does not seem dated at all; in fact, the plot could easily be applicable to this day. Douglas Fairbanks manages to convince in his role as the visiting American surgeon, but it is the supporting cast - Glynis Johns, Jack Hawkins and particularly Herbert Lom that runs the show. Lom has one of the best one-liners in Hollywood history when he disdainfully tells Fairbanks "Oh please, don't say that it is the principle of the thing....that usually turns out to be so much more expensive!" Sidney Gillat's direction keeps the pace brisk & eventful. A must buy on DVD, certainly for me.


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