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The Man Between 2011

NR CC
4.4 out of 5 stars (23) IMDb 7.2/10

Susanne Mallison arrives in the city to stay with her brother and his German wife, Bettina. Reluctantly, Bettina takes Susanne into the Eastern Sector where they meet Ivo Kern, a former lawyer who is being blackmailed into luring to East Berlin a man called Kastner, who is helping refugees to escape to the West.

Starring:
James Mason, Claire Bloom
Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Thriller
Director Carol Reed
Starring James Mason, Claire Bloom
Supporting actors Hildegard Knef, Geoffrey Toone, Aribert Wäscher, Ernst Schröder, Dieter Krause, Hilde Sessak, Karl John, Ljuba Welitsch, Reinhard Kolldehoff
Studio Lionsgate
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
excelled at making dark, lonely, intriguing films set amongst the ruins of Germany following WWII. This film is a little easier to follow than "The Third Man," but I think it is still an interesting story. Looking at post war Germany is depressing, but from our standpoint in the 21st century, the film's locales are enlightening. Here the black and white photography shows the light and shadows of snowy Berlin in all of its rubble and decimation as a stark and dangerous place. The plot takes full advantage of the natural setting of the film, and adds to the sense of mystery and intrigue.

The story is absorbing. Claire Bloom is an innocent English girl visiting her big brother who is an army physician. He and she are both to be taken at face value, and have nothing to hide. Bloom's sister-in-law (the luminous Hildegard Neff, whose light liquid eyes are so compelling) is not so straightforward, and has at least one big secret, which Bloom suspects from the beginning. But Bloom is a well-bred girl and largely keeps her opinions to herself. Once James Mason enters the film, it is charged with the dangerous sexuality he was able to bring to his characterizations. Of course Bloom falls in love with him, but he is probably up to no good.

Reed foresees the problems between what will become East Berlin and West Berlin. Although Berlinners can still pass through the border between the Russian sector, which is liberally peppered with posters of Stalin, and the Allied sector, Reed presages the tension which will exist once the wall goes up. The escape sequence from east to west in the last half of the film is fast-paced and exciting. The question of whether Bloom and Mason can escape the repressive and fearful eastern sector makes for some thrilling cinema.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
In this nearly forgotten masterpiece, director Carol Reed weaves a grim tapestry of the early days of "The Cold War". Set in postwar gutted Berlin, a young Claire Bloom flies to Berlin to visit her military/doctor brother and his German wife (Hildegarde Neff). James Mason plays Ivo, an East Berliner with a shady past. This movie is difficult to review without giving away many spoilers in the plot. Briefly, Mason seeks asylum in West Berlin. Bloom is mistaken for her sister in law and is kidnapped and taken to the Eastern sector. Mason moves in to free Bloom. The images that follow their escape are bleak; fleeing through skeletons of unfinished buildings in stark snowy weather, a brothel, a boy on a bicycle devoted to Mason who eventually is the source of his downfall, is about all I can say without giving too much away.

The gritty B&W photography against the backdrop of war-shattered Berlin and the somber musical score, perfectly set the perspective of this gloomy drama. The performances by the three leads are superb. Mason had a long and illustrious career in films. Bloom and Neff were largely overlooked by Hollywood, however; Bloom fared somewhat better. Discovered by Charlie Chaplin, she had a spotty career in films eventually finding success on the Broadway stage. She is the foremost interpreter of Shakesperian ladies. She later won acclaim as an author if two autobiographies. She lends solid support and grace to every project she is involved with. Neff was wasted by Hollywood and became a bestselling author. Reed as many already know, is an acclaimed British director.

This film is only available on Amazon Instant Video. It has never been released in Region 1 DVD, and it should be. It is a great film that deserves preservation on disc and is highly recommended.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Don't be misled or put off by the silly poster (Terror! Vice! Violence!) This is a terrific film noire about post-war Berlin; it captures the sense of dread and paranoia that haunted Berlin as the Communists moved to strangle East Germany and turn it into a Stalinist police state. This film is a kind of sequel to the masterpiece "The Third Man" starring Orson Wells. James Mason is one of the great actors of all time. Brilliant acting, directing and camera work.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are obvious resemblances between this film and Reed's 'The Third Man'. The scene here is Berlin shortly after the war. The atmospheric locations add a great deal to the suspense. For two-thirds of the film, Reed holds back from the viewer an explanation for the odd goings on, after which the action suddenly heats up. James Mason is excellent as the man irredeemably damaged by his past who glimpses what might have been in the person of Claire Bloom's character. Bloom does well in her role––a female Holly Martins––without completely convincing. I would have given this four or five stars except for a major caveat. About two-thirds the way through the film, in this transfer, there is an audible break in the sound track, after which the sound and vision are out of sync. It really spoilt the last stages of the viewing for me.
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This is an atmospheric drama set in the stark ruins of Berlin after World War II. It has richly nuanced characters, a tight plot and is beautifully filmed in black and white. It is one of the few movies I saw as a child which stuck with me all these years and on seeing it again, I was just as enthralled.
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