Movie Diary 8/28/2019

The Iron Curtain (William Wellman, 1948). Oddball project. A Soviet code expert (Dana Andrews, in severe Russian haircut) and wife (Gene Tierney) are sent to Ottawa after WWII; life in Canada doesn’t seem so horrible and gradually begins to look better than spying for the Commies – a very somber Ninotchka variation. The piece is done in the postwar Fox style of “filmed in the locations where these events actually happened,” so it has that noir-verité quality. It was based on a true story. Quite a few very handsome set-ups (Charles Clarke photographed), but there isn’t much Wellman can do with the story’s tendency to plod from one point to the next. Feature debut for super-creepy Berry Kroeger; June Havoc has a few smart moments as a crafty Russian.

They Might Be Giants (Anthony Harvey, 1971). Nice re-visit to this cult film, with George C. Scott and Joanne Woodward as a different kind of Holmes and Watson. A good New York movie, with an incredible cast of current or future supporting-actor mainstays (even a very young F. Murray Abraham).