Very much a return to the world of Harry Lime, with the ruins of edgy, divided Berlin standing in for the sewers of Vienna. The drab, snow-clad city finds its human counterpart in Mason's sardonic, disreputable double agent, who stalks and then succumbs to the provocatively virginal Bloom. Cold war dogmatism is refreshingly muted, with free world heroes and Stalinist heavies merely a backcloth to the complexly ambiguous relations centred on Mason. The film's rambling, ramshackle construction drew unfavourable comparisons with The Third Man, but despite thematic similarities, it is more fruitfully seen as a forerunner to the down-at-heel spy stories of John Le Carré.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Harry Kurnitz, Eric Linklater|