Review: ‘Torn Curtain’

Torn Curtain is an okay Cold War suspenser with Paul Newman as a fake defector to East Germany in order to obtain Communist defense secrets. Julie Andrews is his femme partner. Alfred Hitchcock's direction emphasizes suspense and ironic comedy flair but some good plot ideas are marred by routine dialog, and a too relaxed pace contributes to a dull overlength.

Torn Curtain is an okay Cold War suspenser with Paul Newman as a fake defector to East Germany in order to obtain Communist defense secrets. Julie Andrews is his femme partner. Alfred Hitchcock’s direction emphasizes suspense and ironic comedy flair but some good plot ideas are marred by routine dialog, and a too relaxed pace contributes to a dull overlength.

Brian Moore scripted from his original story about a top US physicist who essays a public defection in order to pick the brains of a Communist wizard. Writing, acting and direction make clear from the outset that Newman is loyal, although about one-third of pic passes before this is made explicit in dialog. This early telegraphing diminishes suspense.

Hitchcock freshens up his bag of tricks in a good potpourri which becomes a bit stale through a noticeable lack of zip and pacing.

Torn Curtain

Production

Universal. Director Alfred Hitchcock; Producer Alfred Hitchcock; Screenplay Brian Moore; Camera John F. Warren; Editor Bud Hoffman; Music John Addison; Art Director Hein Heckroth

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 126 MIN.

With

Paul Newman Julie Andrews Lila Kedrova Hansjoerg Felmy Tamara Toumanova Wolfgang Kieling

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