Torn Curtain

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I was able to combine mathematical logic with romantic inconsistency.

It was a doube bill weekend again, with Rich and Strange being watched the night before in an effort to catch up and keep on target in general, and Julie Andrews is at it again, on the run from the Germans. She looks very young in Torn Curtain so I was suprised to find it came out only a year after the Sound of Music!

In this film, however, the hills were very much not alive with the sound of music, but the sound of betrayel, suspicion and murder! Which is good as that is exactly what I was hoping for when I sat down to watch this one. It did not dissapoint!


Reading around online, this is not one of Hitchcock's better recieved films although I really don't know why. It had everything it needed for an intelligent spy thriller… pace, threat, a suitably intense and un-clichéd murder scene. All in all I would say I found it more entertaining than North by Northwest, which would be the common concensus on entertaining Hitchcock 'action' films normally.

Despite Sarah's (Julie Andrew's) extremely polite and unrelentless 'Englishness' I felt a genuine level of sustained threat throughout the whole of the film that kept me alert and very much 'in' the film, despite having to fast-forward through the adverts (recorded from a 4am showing, slightly anti-social) and it didn't let up. At no point did I feel the characters were safe and Michael (Paul Newman) really managed to carry across this constant sense of being in a state of panic without letting it show.

I would describe the film as an anti-action movie because ultimately the characters are all trying to decieve and outwit one-another and avoid physical conflict, yet the threat of conflict is always one wrong sentence or sudden movement away. This is the kind of enironment where you don't run, you just have to outwalk your opponent, because the moment you run, they have probable cause to put a bullet in your back, and this concept is represented both figuratively and literaly at different points throughout the film.

I also have to take back my ramblings about love and pain from watching Rich and Strange the other night. That film made a lot of reference to love being transformed by pain but that is not the only example of love to be had in this world. Love is a spectrum of things and Sarah shows that perfectly in this film, whilst she defects with Michael out of love, she does so with a heavy heart, but a loving heart none-the-less.

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