Extraordinary Soap Opera
12 August 2009 | by GManfred (Ramsey, NJ)
I am not a fan of Soaps. Too often they are predictable and boring and descend into bathos -‘Womens’ Pictures’. But this picture was so spectacular in all respects that I was taken aback by its sheer accomplishment. Critic Kenneth Tynan said that one must ‘suspend one’s disbelief’ to take part in the movie experience. If that is the case, this picture became real; it was not a play on the screen performed by mere actors.
The story is familiar but the production is not. Direction is skillful and the photography is perfect. The picture moves quickly and the acting is superb. Francis Lederer was good, Brigitte Helm was even better, and Warwick Ward, who plays Col. Beranoff, spit and polish and bent on revenge, was outstanding. He was the glue that held the cast together and was a riveting presence whenever he was on screen.
I could go on and on, but enough. I am rearranging my own top 10 films to include this one. I caught it at the Capitolfest in Rome, N.Y.,8/09, in 35MM. That is the way it should be seen, as a small screen would diminish this picture in more ways than one.
And I don’t like Soaps.