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on 12 May 2011
A diplomatic courier (Tyrone Power) for the State Department is set to receive an important package from a colleague and old friend (James Millican) in Austria but the contact pretends to not recognize him and is later murdered and the package missing. Veteran director Henry Hathaway (TRUE GRIT)is behind the camera for this intriguing espionage cold war thriller. Shot in B&W by Lucien Ballard (THE WILD BUNCH), the film doesn't take full advantage of the colorful Austrian and Italian locations which would have benefited from a Technicolor perspective. It would have been different if the B&W photography contributed a noir-ish post WWII atmosphere like Reed's THE THIRD MAN but it's not that kind of picture. The film profits by having two femme fatales, a globe trotting widow (Patricia Neal) who Power meets on an airplane and a Czech spy (Hildegard Knef) who Power meets on a train. Hathaway keeps the movie whizzing along to its conclusion with very little lagging. The large cast includes Karl Malden, Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, Stephen McNally, Herbert Berghof, Helene Stanley and Michael Ansara. An enjoyable, if minor, entry into the cold war movie canon.

The Fox DVD from Spain is a nice B&W transfer in its appropriate 1.33 aspect ration. Spanish subtitles are easily removed.
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Diplomatic Courier is directed by Henry Hathaway and adapted by Casey Robinson and Liam O'Brien from the novel Sinister Errand written by Peter Cheyney. It stars Tyrone Power, Patricia Neal, Hildegard Knef, Stephen McNally and Karl Malden. Music is by Sol Kaplan and cinematography by Lucien Ballard.

Power plays Mike Kelly, a Department of State courier who ends up in a nest of intrigue and murder in Trieste when he fails to collect a package from a colleague.

A well constructed espionage yarn. Pace moves at a clip, the black and white photography giving it a semi-documentary feel, which in turn is at one with the Cold War cloud looming over plotting. There's the inevitable requests to suspend disbelief, but that's fine for the sub-genre spy seeking fan. Cast are good, with Power full of determination, Neal deliciously nutty, Malden energetic and the beautiful Knef hinting at the ability that was never realised. There's twists and turns and rocks to look under, while the good and bad guys are never easily identified. All good, really, a safe and sound recommendation. 7/10
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on 16 March 2014
Quite good, interesting and entertaining. Well told story that progresses nicely. This is a typically East-West cold war thriller where dangerous Soviet plans are revealed, thanks to work done in the field by courier Mike Kells, played by Tyrone Power. I have seldom seen talented actor Karl Malden better than in this movie. And Patricia Neill is good as always, in a role typical for her.
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on 9 April 2015
Good simple story of a courier trying to get secret papers back to the USA.

Full frame region 2 dvd, with some nice early roles for Charles Bronson & Lee Marvin.

Has enough twists and turns to make a good 90 minute story pass along quite swiftly.
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on 5 June 2015
Did not know about this movie and was pleasantly surprised. Good story and acting.Quality of disc very good and item arrived before due date.
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on 30 November 2014
Could have been another Third Man but isn't - still a fun film
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on 25 July 2013
Power never was an actor of any importance and here he is even worse than usual and quite unnatural. Malden overplays his part - as usual - and lives up to his reputation of being a caricature rather than an actor, all through the film. Neal is natural, but lacks the skills of an actress of any significant standing. Maybe, here also, Hathaway's uninspiring direction is to blame. However, the film has its value as a snapshot of the background (time and place) where it was shot. A document in its own right.
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on 6 August 2014
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