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Hitchcock's under-valued Cold War drama
on July 22, 2002
TORN CURTAIN was a film which Hitchcock never wanted to make; he still owed Universal one more film under his contract and was waiting for the right story to come along. At Universal's insistence, he made this under-valued Cold War thriller.
Michael Armstrong (Paul Newman - CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF) is a world-famous scientist to goes to an international congress in Copenhagen with his fiancee/assistant Sarah Sherman (Julie Andrews - STAR!, DARLING LILI). While there, Sarah mistakenly picks up a message meant for him and discovers that he is defecting to East Germany. Or is he? As Armstrong goes undercover to glean top-secret information, the couple are swept up in a heart-pounding chase to escape with their lives....
Hitchcock reportedly hated working with Newman and Andrews (he did not personally cast them, they were assigned to the film by the studio). The music was provided by John Addison, although Hitchcock veteran Bernard Herrmann was originally going to provide the score.
However, the film does have some very good scenes: the bus ride, the post office, the climactic MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH-esque ballet sequence and the fight in the cottage.
Also starring Lila Kedrova, Tamara Toumanova, Ludwig Donath and David Opatoshu.
The DVD includes the making-of documentary "Torn Curtain Rising", a condensed version of the film with Bernard Herrmann's original score, an art gallery and the trailer.