Tuesday, November 5, 2013

5 FINGERS (1952)

Until he received his most ambitious film ‘Cleopatra’, a severe box office debacle, 1950s was the most creative and shining phase of director Joseph Mankiewicz’s career. He made nine films during the decade and that include flavors of multiple genres that ranges from drama, history, mystery, crime and musical in form of  ‘All About Eve’, ‘The Barefoot Contessa’, ‘Suddenly, Last Summer’ and surely two Brando films ‘Julius Caeser’ and ‘Guys and Dolls’. And in between all these gold, he made a fine and yet under noticed gem of espionage thriller named ‘5 Fingers’, worthy of attention to all Hollywood classic lovers. The film is based on real story of Nazi access of top secret British diplomatic documents in the volatile time of Second World War. A strange informer named Cicero, who works as regular valet of British ambassador in Turkey, secretly snaps highly confidential top secret documents and sells them to German embassy. As the British intelligence agency works as counter to nab the treachery, the things turns different turn to the informer’s affair with German Gestapo. The film keeps the tension rolling slowly and steadily, followed with engaging climax and fine twist in the end served as poetic justice. James Mason delivers one of memorable early performance of his shining career here.  Recommended classic.  

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