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I See A Dark Stranger

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Product Details

  • Actors: Deborah Kerr, Trevor Howard, Raymond Huntley, Liam Redmond
  • Directors: Frank Launder
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007ELDD
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #123,151 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "I See A Dark Stranger" on IMDb

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Determined, independent Bridie Quilty comes of age in 1944 Ireland thinking all Englishmen are devils. Her desire to join the IRA meets no encouragement, but a German spy finds her easy to recruit. We next find her working in a pub near a British military


You know Deborah Kerr as the finely regal actress of her later career; you may not know the vibrant, sexy redhead of younger days. I See a Dark Stranger should rectify that. (But do also see the Powell-Pressburger triumphs that bookend it, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp and Black Narcissus.) This delightful picture comes from the deft duo of Frank Launder and Sydney Gilliat, who excelled at comic suspense. Kerr plays Bridie Quilty, an Irish lass bred to loathe the English, who ends up spying for the Germans during World War II (only because they're against the English and the IRA wouldn't take her). This curious premise leads to delicious intrigue, as Bridie finds herself dumping a body off an English seacoast cliff and chasing around the Isle of Man with two bald policemen named Goodhusband and Spanswick. Trevor Howard tags along, but this is Kerr's show, and she is smashing. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
I'm in love with Deborah Kerr and her brogue.
Paul Carr
Throughout the film her proper but determined characters struggle with inner conflicts, and it is always her courage that wins us over to her.
Doug - Haydn Fan
That face, those eyes, her wonderful expressive eyes...ah, there I go again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Michael Gebert on July 11, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliatt specialized in smart, witty, quintessentially British thrillers of the sort that made Hitchcock's name-- and not only did they write one of Hitchcock's first big successes, The Lady Vanishes, Gilliatt really invented the minigenre of the droll train-based thriller with 1932's Rome Express while Hitchcock was still learning his trade. (After The Lady Vanishes they wrote its sort-of-sequel, Night Train to Munich, which I for one think is even better.)
Deborah Kerr stars as an Irish lass with stars in her eyes for the Irish cause, which get her caught in the intrigues of a Nazi spy (the scarily cold Raymond Huntley). It was Kerr's breakthrough performance (and one that may seem familiar since Maureen O'Hara copies it closely in The Quiet Man). Especially compared with today's sub-Republic-serial action films, the suspense scenes are well thought out and present believable problems (how DO you get rid of a body from the second floor of an inn in a small town where everyone knows you?), and the comic touches (note the surreal "twin" bureaucrats) are sharply observed.
The presence of Trevor Howard as a light romantic lead in this film reminds us that as British thrillers got more serious after the war-- in such films as The Third Man, The Clouded Yellow and They Made Me a Fugitive, all starring Howard and making use of his dour, seen-awful-things-in-wartime manner-- Launder and Gilliatt weren't really capable of following. But when it comes to amusingly British, skillfully exciting entertainments in the 1930s and 1940s, they were first-rate and deserve to be better remembered.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By C. O. DeRiemer TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 26, 2004
Format: DVD
This is one of a series of first-rate British movies Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat wrote and, in a number of cases, directed starting in the 1930s.

Deborah Kerr plays Bridie Quilty, a young Irish woman who was brought up to despise the British. Its 1944 and Ireland has stayed neutral in WWII. When she reaches her majority she is determined to join the IRA and fight against the Brits. She travels to Dublin to seek out the IRA and is rebuffed, but is recruited by, unknown to her, a German spy. Raymond Huntley, a great English character actor, plays the spy. He has her finding out information as a worker in a pub, next to a British army base just across the border. Unexpectedly, she meets a young Army offficer (Trevor Howard) who is in counter-intelligence, and then comes across a great secret which, she is told, must be delivered to an agent she thinks is fighting against the Brits on behalf of the Irish, but is actually a sleeper Nazi. Bridie's adventures are many, some romantic (although she can't stand the idea of falling for a British officer), some funny, some dangerous. The conclusion, where if Bridie is caught on the Northern Ireland side of the border she'll be hanged, but if she can cross the border to Ireland she'll be safe, is a nice little drama of its own. It causes a quandry of conscience for Howard, and is resolved neatly.

This is a charming and expertly made movie. Deborah Kerr, at 24, brings glowing naivete to the part. After Kerr made this and Black Narcissus (1947), she was off to the USA.

Launder and Gilliat's films read like a roster of quality and craftsmanship. Among them are The Lady Vanishes, Night Train to Munich, The Rake's Progress, Green for Danger, The Belles of St. Trinian's, The Green Man, Geordie and Young Mr. Pitt. Except for The Lady Vanishes, none are out on DVD in the U.S. and should be.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Macfarland on September 20, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
saw it on tv. bought it next day. great movie for a dark windy night. all british, great old inns, tea, murder, just enjoy a 1940.s movie that you can re-watch and still enjoy. deborah kerr as a very young lady, wanting to do the best for her counrty but knowing somethings very wrong....and off we go..won't say anymore, but buy and enjoy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on March 7, 2010
Format: DVD
"I'm a retired spy." -- Deborah Kerr to Trevor Howard

If ever a film about a young Irish lass so passionate in her distaste for the English that she ends up working as a German spy during WWII could be described as airily charming, this is it. A pleasant Irish lilt can be heard and felt in Deborah Kerr's enchanting performance as the feisty but quite naive Birdie Quilty. Regaled by her father's tales of the Irish from the time she was a wee lassie, as a young woman she sets out to find the man he supposedly fought with and join in the rebellion. Her father's tales were pure blarney, of course, and when rebuffed, she becomes a spy for the Germans simply because they're against the Brits!

Frank Launder and Sidney Gillant concocted this tasty Irish stew as pleasant to look at as it is to savor, thanks to photographer Wilkie Cooper, and a breathtaking Deborah Kerr. Birdie's inner thoughts are given voice by Kerr throughout the film and offer more than a small amount of humor. Trevor Howard proves quite likable as the Army Intelligence Officer who is quite smitten with Birdie, despite her bewildering behavior. Even knowing she dumped a body into the ocean for some peculiar reason can't keep him from chasing her. He was already a goner, of course, and had asked her to do it to protect herself.

Birdie ends up way over her head and once she realizes Irish lives are at stake, has a change of heart. It's not so easy to just quit, however, especially when those bad guys want the information you've destroyed. A fun escape through an Irish funeral procession and mad dash for Eire, cap off a unique film. But just because she's one of the good guys now, doesn't mean she's a bit less Irish! Once the viewer settles in to the special mood of this delightful and pleasant film they'll have an excellent time. A must for classic film fans.
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