“People can’t help who they fall in love with.”
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary concedes that while “the story is still interesting, as is the evocation of smalltown life, far away from the public eye”, the “picture lacks something” — though he “can’t figure out what it is”, noting that “perhaps it’s that the Nazi is not up to any diabolical act at the time Robinson comes to town, so only at the end
when Welles decides to murder Young is there any suspense.” However, I disagree: when Welles first meets with Shayne on the campus of the boys’ school where he’s clearly a beloved instructor, he nearly cackles with glee at his ability to cover up his past and craft a nifty new life for himself in a small American town — where, he notes, “I’ll stay… until they day when we strike again.” This is evidence aplenty of both his “diabolical” intentions and beliefs. Meanwhile, “there are novel touches throughout, including the manner in which Welles is done in, and the photography by Russell Metty is atmospheric”. With that said, the screenplay is far from perfect — likely due in part to the fact that 30 minutes of the original film were cut, including 19 minutes from the exposition, and a scene in which Young first meets Welles and walks with him through the town cemetery. However, it’s still worth a one-time look by all film fanatics.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)