“I want to go on living, even after my death.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
… with the theme of survival under extraordinary circumstances helping keep us in suspense despite knowing the tragic outcome of the story.
We are intrigued by the inevitable interpersonal tensions that emerge amongst this motley crew of refugees:
… and can only imagine trying to endure something like this ourselves. Winters won a Best Supporting Actress award for her portrayal of a quibbling housewife most interested in holding onto her fur coat and (later) ensuring her husband (not her son!) has enough to eat:
Meanwhile, Schildkraut, reprising his Broadway role, is perfectly cast as a noble and patient father doing his best to keep the group peaceful and alive, and Douglas Spencer and Dodie Heath are appropriately subtle as the couple who risked their own lives to save others:
Less successful is the ongoing subplot about Anne’s (mutual) crush on Peter, which is belabored to the point of distraction:
While we know that romance and other adolescent concerns were top of mind for Anne during her time in hiding, the presence of these two good-looking actors ultimately feels too much like simply a cinematic excuse to portray young love. Perkins is soulful and pretty as big-eyed Anne:
… but I couldn’t help wondering how the original stage star (Susan Strasberg) would have fared in this complex role. While this movie isn’t must-see, it’s a worthy adaptation and recommended for one-time viewing.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: