“You have no idea how useful it’s going to be for you to know English. You can go where ever you like. Everybody knows what ‘OK’ means. You can use English all over the world. Not, not just America: Canada, Africa, Australia, India. Even in England, they understand English… well, sort of. ” – Ralph “Steve” Stevenson
Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jun 2018)
Brief Synopsis – In the immediate aftermath of World War II, a young soldier finds a small orphan boy and tries to help him find his mother.
My Take on it – This is yet another film that I had never heard of before watching it and it’s quite an effective story.
This film deals with the refugee problem in post-war Europe and is filmed really well in order to depict such a world trying to rebuild itself after the chaos has ended.
I’m sure that this film was even more powerful when it came out since these kind of events were very fresh in people’s minds, but it’s still quite effective 70 years later.
Montgomery Clift does a fine job in the lead here and was nominated for an Oscar for his very first performance yet I’m still a bit baffled as to how he got a nomination because his character isn’t such a powerful one like the Academy member usually like.
The star of this film is clearly Ivan Jandl who is amazing as the little boy trying to find his mother.
His performance is almost completely non-verbal, yet he still manages to convey his character’s plight really well.
The story moves along at a great pace and they do a really nice job depicting the kind of life that people had to endure in post-war Europe.
Bottom Line – Really interesting idea that works quite well. This was probably even more powerful when it first came out due to the connections to the refugee situation in Europe after the war, especially of children. Clift does quite a good job in the lead, but the story is more focused on Jandl and he shines in an almost non-verbal performance. I’m a little bit surprised that Clift got an Oscar nomination for Best Actor for this role. The story moves along at a great pace and it expertly shows what kind of life people had to endure during the post war era. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Montgomery Clift was not overly enamored by the dialogue in the screenplay, referring to it as “The Yearling with added sugar”. He worked hard on his own lines, finding the most natural words, and helping to shape his memorable characterization. This didn’t go down well with original screenwriter David Wechsler who threatened legal action. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)
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