This is the first of two posts dedicated to From the Stars to a Star: Celebrating Dolores Hart Blogathon being held over at Wonderful World of Cinema
Tnx Virginie for letting me take part!
Number of Times Seen – 1 (16 Oct 2018)
Brief Synopsis – A policeman decides to help a survivor of the Nazi Concentration Camps make her way to Palestine.
My Take on it – This is a film that I was drawn to based solely on its premise which is the kind that is always dear to my own heart.
The plight of Jewish refugees following World War II is part of my own history and I always enjoy seeing how the history of film looks at it.
This film gives an interesting perspective on it all but ultimately doesn’t manage to keep things enjoyable since they don’t develop most of the characters enough and the story remains too paint by numbers.
There is no question that Dolores Hart gives the finest performance of any of the cast and she is able to convey the pain and fear of someone who went through horrible torture yet manages to find a way to have the courage to move on with her life despite that.
Stephen Boyd plays a strange kind of role because we are only told on a superficial level why he does what he does and if things would have been developed more emotionally, his character would be so much better to follow.
As it is presented, he is quite an ambiguous character.
The rest of the cast is made up of stereotypes and caricatures that all see to be placed here because they fit the mold for these kind of characters.
If this film had more unique characteristics to it, it would have been so much more enjoyable.
This is all quite unfortunate because there was a chance to do something with this kind of premise and it feels somewhat wasted.
Bottom Line – Interesting idea that just doesn’t work well enough largely due to the way that things are underdeveloped and many of the characters feel like caricatures. Hart is the best part of this film because we get an emotional portrayal of someone who endured unspeakable torture and now just has one thought on what to do with her life. Boyd’s character is too ambiguous and it’s only alluded to as to why he feels the urge to help her and would have been better if it had developed on a deeper level. The story arc follows a well known pattern and the characters met along the way are all one dimensional and don’t really add anything unique to the storyline.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The character of the Inspector, Jongman, was somewhat altered for this film version, to make the part suitable for Stephen Boyd (I). He had had a long-term contract with Twentieth Century-Fox and it was still trying to build him into a major star. In the book, Jongman is a man well into middle-age, a burnout case worn down by a lifetime of compromises. In the film he is a much younger man whose unhappiness is caused by one specific incident, his failure to save his fiancee from death during the war. The film was a box-office flop, and Boyd left Fox soon after, although he would occasionally work for the company later on in his career. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)
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