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Secret People [DVD]
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Suspense drama starring Valentina Cortese and a young Audrey Hepburn. In 1930, Maria Brentano (Cortese) and her younger sister Nora (Hepburn) flee to London as refugees after their political activist father is murdered by a European dictator. Several years later, while on a weekend trip to Paris, they unexpectedly run into Maria's former lover Louis (Serge Reggiani), who is now plotting the assassination of the dictator. Maria and Nora subsequently become involved in his plan, with tragic consequences.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Optimum DVD from Great Britian is a nicely rendered B&W transfer in the appropriate 1.33 aspect ratio.
The message deals with the morality of the use of violence to achieve what are judged to be good ends. I will not describe the plot as another reviewer has done so very well but the storyline, as scripted by Director Thorold Dickinson, is an engaging, dramatic way of getting the message across.
Lead actress Valentina Cortese dominates her scenes, so powerful is the passion and warmth she brings to her character. Serge Reggiani is very satisfactory in his role, while Irene Worth is a striking presence in her scenes in the last third of the film. Charles Goldner is endearing as the affectionate and steadfast uncle. Another pleasure is the substantial role for 22 year old Audrey Hepburn a year before she found stardom in 'Roman Holiday'.
Dickinson's artistry is apparent in the scenes in the cramped space of the cafe. The actors' movements are precisely choreographed. Their hands are busy with the everyday tasks of making and serving food and yet their words and faces are telling an involving emotional story. All the while the camera and the pacing of the dialogue ensure the viewer's eye focuses on what's important.
Watching this film has been a memorable experience. I thank the wonderful Kathy Wilson for recommending it to me.
Note: The Optimum DVD I bought from Amazon has no subtitles, so none of the problems identified by other reviewers and is of good sound and vision quality. It also features a brief analysis of the film by Philip Horne which is worth viewing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
THIS IS A GREAT FILM WITH AUDREY HEPBURN WHICH IS SHOWING HER BALLET DANCING FOR REAL AND THIS IS A OLD SPY FILMPublished 18 months ago by Mr. I. J. M. Tinsley