It may have sounded like a perfect commercial operation. Two huge box office stars, Paul Newman and Julie Andrews with Hitchcock no less, at the helm. Paul Newman and Julie Andrews have the sexual chemistry of two white slices of bread and Hitchcock didn't have Bernard Herrman at his side. In fact Hitch and Herrmann broke off their successful marriage during this production. Pity. I love Hitchcock. There is a detachment here never seen before in a Hitch flick. As if the master was tired or uninterested. Paul Newman seems in a hurry to get the hell out of there - no pun intended. Julie Andrews seems bewildered and whatever little she's ask to do it's way beneath her. Lila Kedrova comes as a welcome relief. I can't believe the ones who accused her of being over the top. Over the top? Of course she was over the top, brilliantly. I love actresses and actors who chew the scenery but are believable, moving, entertaining, hysterically funny...Bette Davis, Charles Laughton, Geraldine Page, Kim Stanley... Lila Kedrova chew the scenery but you didn't forget her and in "Torn Courtain" you were grateful for someone chewing something. I also enjoyed Tamara Toumanova in her funny self parody. Her spotting Newman at the theater was one of the highlights of this minor Hitchkock film.
An American scientist publicly defects to East Germany as part of a cloak and dagger mission to find the solution for a formula resin before planning an escape back to the West.
February 1, 2020