In The Red Danube [from the novel Vespers in Vienna by Bruce Marshall], Metro aims a haymaker at Soviet repatriation methods in Europe and general Communist ideology, but the punch lands short of the mark.
Film might have been rescued by a more winning portrayal of its pro-democratic forces. But Walter Pidgeon, who limns a British army colonel engaged in fulfilling the western allies’ commitment to repatriate for- cibly all refugees from Russia, is hamstrung for too many reels by calloused and blundering doings. His adjutant, Peter Lawford, is depicted as a peculiarly capri cious character.
Scene of the struggle is Vienna, circa 1945, where Pidgeon is billeted in a convent. Here much tedious religious talk is generated between the colonel, a professed unbeliever, and the mother-superior (Ethel Barrymore) on the pros and cons of organized religion.
Chief pawn is a ballerina (Janet Leigh) beloved by Lawford. Pidgeon turns over the ballerina on the promise she will not be mistreated.
1950: Nomination: Best B&W Art Director