This surely is a strange movie. It is made just as the US was on the verge of entering WW2, and it is about the possibility of fascism in the US, hiding under American patriotism. It is a thriller, and as such very exciting, even if the ending is a bit over the top. It is made by gay, jewish liberal director George Cukor with his favourite actors, and best friends, Tracy and Hepburn, in the leads. It is indeed a very political film, and although I am aware of Hollywood making lots of films about these matters during the war years, surely the most liberal period in classical Hollywood, I cannot think of another film from that time that so clearly states that extreme right wing ideas are possible even within what clearly is American establishment. I have just read that this movie was used against its script writer during the blacklist period as a prove of his "communism".
It is not a perfect movie. But it is an interesting one, and ought to be much better known. It must have been highly controversial at the time, and in a sad way, it still is, as it points out how dangerous ideas and movements can hide under what seems to be positive covers.
The DVD is not quite up to standard. It has not been restored, and has the quality of a good video, nothing more or less. However, its quite watchable, the sound is Ok, and it has English subtitles. I cannot understand why it is offered only from a third party seller, but the seller I chose was more than excellent. The DVD arrived in Oslo just two - 2- days after the order was placed.
I do really recommend theis movie in spite of its faults, both because it is such a rare one, because there is a real mystery going on in it, and because of the good actors.
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It is rare these days to see any book or movie which makes a strong statement for individual rights and freedom. Seeing even a taxi driver have an opinion on these subjects was astounding. This time period was truly a different world. If only we could get some of that back now.
A real noir thriller and most un-hollywood like, Spencer Tracy is an investigative writer on the case of the death of a true american hero, but his widow (Hepburn - amazing as usual) is wrapped in mystery and secrets, perfect entertainment for a rainy afternoon.