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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping TV Movie with proper acting shock!
If it were not clear from the opening titles that this is a TV adaptation of one of Graham Greene's last published works, the scenes of trapped Frenchmen in a Paris prison hearing the chirp of crickets and the mournful hooting of passing railroad freight trains from outside might give it away.

However, great performances by Anthony Hopkins and Kristin...
Published on 21 Aug 2010 by patpending

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93 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well told but low key TV version of Graham Greene novel
Excellent actors and well conceived storyline elevate this movie from its ordinary TV movie of the month origins.
Set in WW II, Hopkins plays Cheval - an ordinary man, a lawyer, trying to live his life unobtrusively amid the occupation. His life is upturned when he is taken in along with a group of others by the Germans and put in jail, ready to be shot as an...
Published on 7 July 2007 by Mr. Stephen Kennedy


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93 of 94 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well told but low key TV version of Graham Greene novel, 7 July 2007
By 
Mr. Stephen Kennedy "skenn1701a" (Doha, Qatar) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
Excellent actors and well conceived storyline elevate this movie from its ordinary TV movie of the month origins.
Set in WW II, Hopkins plays Cheval - an ordinary man, a lawyer, trying to live his life unobtrusively amid the occupation. His life is upturned when he is taken in along with a group of others by the Germans and put in jail, ready to be shot as an example to the resistance. When that time comes, he buys his life, giving all he has to another man who wishes to leave the house and wealth for his mother and sister Therese (Kirsten Scott-Thomas).
3 years later after the war, Hopkins returns to his house, and meets the sister, never letting on who he actually is. The lies threaten to unravel when a man (Derek Jacobi) then appears, announcing himself as Chavel.
The story is told in an economical way, leading to a relatively short 95 minute running time, and unfolds rather more like a play than a movie. The first act - the prison cell, where Chavel has the moment of weakness he will regret his whole life, The second act - Chavel after the war gains the trust of Therese. And then the third act - The stranger arrives and all the lies become a tortuous mess ultimately leading to a satisfying and inevitable conclusion.
It is not really a war story, but a character study. What can you do if you have a moment of weakness with consequences that cannot be undone? When all you have is guilt, what can be done to make things right? As for the production in general, the music is often overdone, but the subtlety of the acting and fine French locations cover over the TV budget cracks.
A typically well told Graham Greene story, with Hopkins bringing real nuances to the role of Cheval, this deserves a wider audience than its TV movie label suggests, even if it is not up with the best Greene adaptations. 7 / 10 (for the acting!)
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gripping TV Movie with proper acting shock!, 21 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
If it were not clear from the opening titles that this is a TV adaptation of one of Graham Greene's last published works, the scenes of trapped Frenchmen in a Paris prison hearing the chirp of crickets and the mournful hooting of passing railroad freight trains from outside might give it away.

However, great performances by Anthony Hopkins and Kristin Scott-Thomas make this a proper drama unlike the clearly-1980s-Yugoslav-Railways history-book-blooper standard of Robert Mitchum's "The Winds of War".

In the story, the German Army arrests nine innocent men in occupied Paris to act as hostages to be shot in retribution for Resistance acts. Anthony Hopkins (the rich lawyer Chavel) is "the tenth man".

The question of "what is a life worth?" is examined as Chavel first draws the lot according to which he will be shot at dawn, then, in order to escape his fate, transfers his wordly wealth and his ancestral home to Janvier, another, poor, prisoner to take his place. Janvier is shot.

After the war, Chavel has survived and returns to his old home to discover that Janvier's mother has taken up residence along with Janvier's beautiful sister, Thérèse. Thérèse has sworn to kill Chavel should he return, to avenge her brother. Chavel does not let her know his true identity.

To complicate matters, just as Chavel and Thérèse seem to be falling in love, a gold-digging scoundrel arrives calling himself Chavel...he is after Thérèse and the house...so what will the real Chavel do?

There are no features on this DVD except subtitles. Although the official description says "Subtitles: Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Spanish" my copy had German also.

At Amazon's price, certainly a gripping alternative to a standard evening's TV fare! (you can also play "spot the Geoffrey "Catweazle" Bayldon"!)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid and Rewarding TV Film, 10 Jun 2011
By 
Mr (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
From Jack Gold, who also delivered one of the best Inspector Morse episodes, come this Graham Greene adaptation with undertones of Martin Guerre.
The performances are first rate and the screenplay functions well, although it does suffer from being a TV Movie and trying to deal with too many chunks rather than letting the plot develop.
All of that said it is a really satisfying adaptation, with a mature and good story from Greene, a good and haunted performance from Anthony Hopkins and a beautiful Kristin Scott Thomas proving that she is not only more beautiful than other Hollywood stars, but she is also smarter and wiser as an actress, the scene of the "return" is a moment to note here.
If like me you didn't know this movie then give it a chance, something brought you to this page and at this price it is worth a gamble.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good TV Treatment of an Odd Anomaly in Greene's Career, 8 Sep 2011
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
"The Tenth Man," is an all-star, full-color television treatment, made for the one-time prestigious American series "Hallmark Hall of Fame." It is based on a bleak suspenseful thriller that was, to me, for years, a puzzling anomaly in the writing career of distinguished British author Graham Greene. The underlying crime drama is only 156 pages, really novella length, yet it has his usual power, though it lacks the accreted detail I've gotten used to in his work. Still, in its 100 minutes, the film gives us an excellent picture of wartime, occupied France, and the people who had to live there; the city of Paris, and the countryside at the time. Greene's characters, as ever, are sharply drawn, and ring true to their natures.

The production is set in 1944, in a German Gestapo prison in occupied France, during World War II, where 32 Frenchmen have been taken hostage. Local resistance activity causes the Germans to decide that one of every ten men - three men--must therefore meet their deaths by firing squad, but they don't care which three men. The hostages draw lots. Anthony Hopkins (The Hannibal Lecter Box Set [Blu-ray][Region Free]) plays Jean Louis Chevel, a lawyer and a rich man. Chevel gets one of the marked ballots; he offers his entire fortune, and all his holdings, to the heirs of any man who will take his place. A sickly young man Michel Mangeot, known as "Janvier,"(played by Timothy Watson) agrees. As the Germans are driven out of France-- Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944-- and the war ends for the French, the hostages are released. Chevel, not knowing what else to do, finds his way to his hereditary estate in the country. There, as he travels under an assumed name, Chevel finds Janvier's mother, Madame Mangeot, played by Brenda Bruce, and sister Therese, played by Kristin Scott-Thomas,(Four Weddings & A Funeral Se [DVD] [1994];The English Patient [DVD] [1997]). For lack of anything better to do, Chevel becomes their unpaid handyman. He falls a little in love with the sister, but realizes that mother and sister hate "Chevel" for taking Janvier's life. Then, suddenly, the immensely talented Derek Jacobi (I, Claudius [Complete BBC series, uncut] [1976] [DVD]) shows up claiming to be Chevel, when, in truth, he is a wanted collaborator and murderer on the run. Cyril Cusack (My Left Foot [DVD]) plays the priest. It is a bleak tale, as noted above, much briefer and less detailed than the author's usual work, although, in this latest crisis in his life, Chevel may be considered at least to have rediscovered his humanity and his courage.

The author, it turns out, amazingly enough, wrote the novella upon which this film is based, in 1944, well before VE Day, Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945. He wrote it as a film treatment for the Hollywood film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he was under contract, along with a couple of other treatments, one of which is very clearly the germ of his remarkable novel, Our Man In Havana: An Introduction by Christopher Hitchens (Vintage Classics), and the film based upon it, Our Man in Havana [DVD] [2005]. At any rate, both Greene and the studio forgot about the existence of these treatments and they lay in the MGM archives until 1983, when someone found them and decided to publish at least THE TENTH MAN. Greene could barely remember writing the treatment, and thought it was only a few pages: he was mightily surprised to discover it was more than 150; and, as it was determined it was to be published; he worked on cleaning it up a bit. It was published in 1985. Then, as happened with many, if not most of his works, the novella was filmed, under the same title, as a 1988 television episode for the American show, "Hallmark Hall of Fame." It was filmed on location in France, was directed by Jack Gold, and it got the all-star treatment. I once caught this movie on late-night TV, and, as noted above, wondered about it for years.

Greene (1904-1991), who was one of the more illustrious British writers of the 20th century, enjoyed a very long life, and a very long, distinguished, prolific writing career. Some of his writing highlights are The Power and the Glory (Vintage Classics),The End Of The Affair (Vintage Classics), andThe Third Man.. Many of his books were bestsellers; most - 56% is the percentage I've seen-- were made into movies, some more than once. He was one of the better-known Catholic converts of his time; many of his thrillers, as this one, deal with Catholic themes of guilt and redemption. He created morally complex characters, while he explored moral and theological dilemmas through psychologically astute character studies, presented in exciting dramas on the international stage. This one is very hard to find, but worth seeing, not least for the acting, if you can.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INTERESTING GRAHAM GREENE ADAPTION, 6 July 2012
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This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
Here's a novelty, a television film with an original and intelligent plot - though as it's based on a novel by Graham Greene that shouldn't be such a surprise. The story is that of an affluent French lawyer whose comfortable and ordered lifestyle comes to an abrupt end when he is plucked off the streets of Paris by occupying German forces. He is imprisoned with others selected at random; a human pool from which some unfortunates are periodically executed in retaliation for acts against the Germans perpetrated by the French Resistance. Our lawyer soon becomes one of those picked for the firing squad, but he persuades another prisoner to take his place in return for all his worldly goods. Already seriously ill, this prisoner considers the price worth paying in return for wealth and property that will pass to his mother and sister.
The ensuing story shows how the lawyer, haunted by his act of cowardice, survives the war. Destitute upon release he briefly considers suicide but is then drawn to his old home, where he meets the two material beneficiaries of his deal with their relative. Careful not to reveal his true identity, he finds the two women greatly embittered by the events he set in train, with the sister in particular vowing to kill the coward who she sees as responsible for her brother's death. Unaware that this is the very man, the sister invites our lawyer to stay on to help with the upkeep of the house and it isn't long before a tentative romance begins. How events unfold from here on forms a thoughtful and quite moving finale to the film.
The production boasts an excellent cast, with Anthony Hopkins as the lawyer, Kristen Scott Thomas as the sister, Brenda Bruce as the mother, and with Derek Jacobi in a fairly brief but crucial role towards the end. As you'd expect they all perform well.
So this is a production well worth watching, but one can't help feeling that there was the potential here for something greater. This is a TV movie, and although much better than the banal and instantly forgettable tripe usually associated with this genre, there's still something of that "cut price" feel to the overall production. It also has a truly awful musical score, a lushly cliched orchestral arrangement that is totally at odds with the restrained and subtle performances from the actors on screen.
To summarise, I'm happy to recommend this film; it is good; it's just a pity that it wasn't the truly outstanding production it could have been
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown masterpiece, 9 Jan 2013
By 
J. Scott-mandeville "jackie veronica" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
I had never heard of this film before seeing it advertised on Amazon (if you liked that you would like this) and was utterly spellbound by the gripping tale of a man who persuades another to takes his place against the wall in Nazi controlled France during the Second World War, and then his conscience and the immorality of his action haunts him. The way in which the story is plotted, and the denouement, is moving, tragic, and affective. Anthony Hopkins is marvellous in the lead, but Kristin Scott-Thomas, in an early role, is also utterly convincing and matches his superb acting. Derek Jacobi takes a secondary, but significant, role in the film, against type, and holds the screen in his short scenes.

I recommend this film, especially to Anthony Hopkins and Scott-Thomas fans, but the story itself is mesmerising and anyone who appreciates Second World War films with a difference should see this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tenth Man, 30 Jan 2012
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Anthony Hopkins, Kristin Scott Thomas and Derek Jacobi shine in well acted and entertaining War time TV movie.
Low Key 95 minute Graham Greene story.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good story and brilliant acting, 6 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
This film had a really good story line and was brilliantly acted, and i thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was thought provoking too!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 13 July 2014
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Bril
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5.0 out of 5 stars A COLLECTORS ITEM....REAL QUALITY., 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Tenth Man [DVD] (DVD)
KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS AND ANTHONY HOPKINS MAKES THIS VERY UNUSUAL PLOT ONE OF THE BEST FILMS IN MY SHELVES.
AND WHEN DEREK JACOBY ENTER THE ARENA, ALMOST LIKE A A GHOST FROM THE PAST JUST WHEN HOPKINS ABSOLUTELY DON'T NEED IT, ADRENALINE STARTS RUSHING.
HE REALLY BECOME A BLACKMAILING RIVAL, DISTURBING HOPKINS AND HIS FALSE IDENTITY PROJECT.
THE PLOT IS ALREADY DESCRIBED, SO I CAN JUST ADD THAT IN THIS FILM, THE BEAUTY AND ELEGANCE OF KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS
REALLY MAKES ME FEEL HOW THIS COULD END IN A UNBEARABLE DIFFERENCE FOR HOPKINS IF HE`S CAUGHT IN HIS LIES ABOUT HIS REAL ROLE BACK IN THE PAST. THIS IS ONE FILM TO WATCH MANY TIMES, AND SHOULD HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN A COLLECTORS HOME.
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