Customer Review

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true revelation---highly recommended, September 9, 2005
This review is from: Shining Through (DVD)
To be honest I am surprised that I have not managed to see this movie before now, considering my weakness for espionage movies and specifically World War II spy pictures (I list WHERE EAGLES DARE and THE MAN WHO NEVER WAS among my favorite 100 movies).

I did see parts of this movie before, as it played in the background of a house party I attended over a decade before. But it was perhaps the presence of Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith as the leads that led me to think that it was just some lame action adventure that Hollywood sometimes has a tendency to unload on us.

Boy was I wrong!

My TiVo picked up the show as a suggestion when it played on HBO and as I sat down to watch it I realized that this movie was more drama than action and more suspense than adventure. A true revelation and factors that really heightened the quality and provided compulsive viewing for the next two hours-plus.

The story centers around a bilingual (English and German) secretary Linda Voss that begins to work for a rather shadowy businessman Ed Leland (played by Douglas) at the outbreak of World War II in Europe. Soon she suspects he is a spy and after taking down a particularly strange message she confronts her boss with her suspicions.

Fast forward and upon America's entrance into the conflict Ed reveals himself to be an operative for OSS (the precursor to today's CIA) and an Army officer to-boot.

With her knowledge of German and highly keen observation skills Linda is soon attending top secret OSS meetings and (against Ed's better judgement) sent into Germany to steal secret plans for the V-1 and V-2 rockets.

What follows is a thoroughly entertaining story that shows a truly frightening and at points terrifying depiction of life in Nazi Germany that includes some top calibre acting talent in the lead roles. In addition to Douglas and Griffith we also have Liam Neeson as a German officer, Jeoly Richardson as a German civilian and John Gielgud as an old spymaster. All give tour-de-force performances and although sometimes the plot can be somewhat predictable (we suspect early on the true allegiances of one of the three supporting characters may not be what they seem to be) but it is always compelling and wonderful entertainment.

The DVD is available in widescreen (always a plus) and although its rather light on special features it is available for under $10.

Highly recommended.
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4.4 out of 5 stars (255 customer reviews)
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