Berlin, July, 1945. Journalist Jake Geismer arrives to cover the Potsdam conference, issued a captain's uniform for easier passage. He also wants to find Lena, an old flame who's now a prostitute desperate to get out of Berlin. He discovers that the driver he's assigned, a cheerful down-home sadist named Corporal Tully, is Lena's keeper. When the body of a murdered man washes up in Potsdam (within the Russian sector), Jake may be the only person who wants to solve the crime: U.S. personnel are busy finding Nazis to bring to trial, the Russians and the Americans are looking for German rocket scientists, and Lena has her own secrets.Written by
The film was shot as if it had been made in 1945. Only studio back lots, sets and local Los Angeles locations were used. No radio microphones were used, the film was lit with only incandescent lights and period lenses were used on the cameras. The actors were directed to perform in a presentational, stage style. The only allowance was the inclusion of nudity, violence and cursing which would have been forbidden by the Production Code. See more »
In two shots you see a double-deck bus. While these existed in Berlin at the time, this one is a London bus as the entry/exit platform is on the left rather than the right. See more »
Nothing better for a prosecutor than a criminal with a sense of history. Everything got written down. Who they killed, and what it cost. Meticulous record-keepers.
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All the logos appear in black and white, while the Warner Brothers logo appears in the forties old style See more »
Third Men Don't Wear Plaid on a Night in Casablanca
Unforgivable pastiche of some infinitely better movies. George Clooney is a journalist sent to cover the 1945 Potsdam conference and in typical movie journalist fashion somehow manages to do no work whatsoever while being drawn into a web of mystery and intrigue. He's possibly the least effectual thriller hero of all time, more Holly Golightly than Holly Martins, and one of the few pleasures the film offers is wondering who will be the next character to jump him from behind and beat him senseless. Will it be the double amputee? The little boy with the bicycle? Absurdities abound, there's unforgivable misuse of narration and all the moody black-and-white photography in the world couldn't make up for a plot more full of holes than the buildings of post-War Berlin. All this could have been redeemed by a bit of chemistry between the leads or some lively pacing but everybody involved seems to be half asleep, possibly numbed into submission by the dreary sub-Elgarian score. The only good thing about this movie is that you leave with a greatly enhanced respect for the skill and sophistication of the bygone filmmakers whose work it so singularly fails to emulate.
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