The Man Between

1953

Action / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

7
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 78%
IMDb Rating 7.1 10 1232

Synopsis


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January 10, 2017 at 10:57 AM

Director

Cast

James Mason as Ivo Kern
Claire Bloom as Susanne Mallison
Hildegard Knef as Bettina Mallison
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
713.16 MB
988*720
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.52 GB
1472*1072
English
NR
24 fps
1hr 40 min
P/S 3 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kitsilanoca-1 10 / 10

Snow Covered Streets of Post-War Berlin

This taut film noir when compared to Carol Reed's masterpieces of that genre, Odd Man Out and The Third Man, is a flawed gem, but still that - a gem.

Filmed in Berlin just eight years after WWII ended, and eight years before the Wall went up, it stars James Mason and Claire Bloom as star-crossed lovers in a city still digging itself out of the rubble made by Allied bombs, and still taking refugees from the east of Europe. The story tells of Susanne Mallison, a young Englishwoman who has arrived in Berlin to visit her older brother Martin, an army physician in the British sector of the city, and his German wife Bettina. It is while Susanne and Bettina are spending a day in the eastern sector, that Bettina finds herself reluctantly introducing Susanne to an old friend, the suave and handsome Ivo Kern. Susanne doesn't like Ivo at first -the audience isn't supposed to either - and she immediately becomes suspicious that he and Bettina are having a clandestine affair. She is curious though about the man, but will she learn the truth about Ivo and his mysterious background?

Meanwhile off the set of the film there was more going on behind the scenes between the two stars. From the book 'James Mason - A Personal Biography', by Mason's former sister-in-law and life long friend, Diana de Rosso: "I was to observe another side of his character, rarely disclosed, when he came to London to finish filming The Man Between. He was a frequent visitor to our London home and he began to bring with him increasingly, his ethereally lovely co-star Claire Bloom...He showed a marked interest in the young actress. There was a quality about her, a stillness and tranquillity which set her apart from most artists her age, yet she had a pointed wit and a fine intelligence, virtues which appealed to James - and it was quite apparent that he was in danger of losing his heart. In truth I believe his heart was lost...His attachment to Claire was purely romantic. They used to sit on the floor together in our house, hand in hand, plainly adoring each other..."

But as with Ivo and Susanne, it was the same with James and Claire. Mason did not divorce his estranged wife Pamela Kellino, and de Rosso was surprised that he didn't, but she has some theories. When he finally did get his divorce a few years later, Claire had moved on to other things in her career and private life. Still, when they met again several years later, it was clear that Mason still was very fond of her and she likewise.

When I first saw this film I questioned whether Mason's German accent was very good, but when I lent it to a pair of friends who are German, they said that he did a good job. As for the German supporting cast, it is the best, especially the lovely Hildegard Neff, and the hauntingly beautiful musical score catches the bleak feeling of the city during a cold winter. They are also reasons I list this as one of my favourite film noir productions.

Reviewed by clanciai 9 / 10

Love among the ruins of post-war Berlin

"The Man Between" has been unfavorably compared with Carol Reed's earlier masterpieces like "Odd Man Out" and "The Third Man" which is an injustice, because this is an entirely different story and much more romantic at that. Of course, in this gloomy film of Stalinist oppression and commie commissar thugs in Berlin under the snow in the dreariness of a harrowed world capital of which nothing remains but a mutilated ghost cleft in twain, you miss certain more picturesque atmospheres of Ireland and Vienna, and there is no comedy here, although James Mason has a few dry and bitter laughs. His personification of what once was a man before the war turned into an abyss of cynical resignation is up to his best standards as an actor, and he is excellently partnered by the lovely Claire Bloom, who later returned to a similar play-acting in Berlin in Martin Ritt's hauntingly sinister "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold" twelve years later, which borrowed much of the moods in this film. What's especially haunting here is John Addison's spooky music dominated by a single saxophone constantly repeating the same wailing fragment of a tune, which adds a certain metaphysical interest to this film lacking in Carol Reed's earlier ones. The flight among the ruins and the skeleton of the macabre building construction adds to the nightmarish mood of alienation in an hostilely inhuman world going futuristic in an 1984 manner - the constantly repeated threatening giant posters of Stalin everywhere in East Berlin stresses this point and adds to the helplessness of disoriented man. I saw this film now for the third time since 1971, and each time I have found it more interesting. There are some flaws in the script, not everything is clear, and especially in the beginning the audience is thrown into total confusion until Hildegard Knef at last answers some questions. Her part is perhaps the most vital to the story, she has been married to a wonderful man lost in the war, who suddenly reappears as a ghost from the ruins after the world when she has found a new happy marriage, which unwelcome revisit from the past turns her life upside down. Of course, Claire Bloom is also confused by her upset condition. The intrigue is humanly very complicated but the more interesting for its infected labyrinths, which is one of the reasons why it will always be worth while seeing this film once again.

Reviewed by mcannady1 10 / 10

The Man Between

I first saw this unique film not long ago and was not surprised that it was superb. Given James Mason's wonderful and heart-wrenching performance and the young and naive Claire Bloom's great love for his character Ivo Kern, the film had a great recipe for success -- To all of these wonderful elements I have to mention the wonderful talents of Carol Reed's superb film-making. The viewer is willingly drawn into each and every scene of the film. The soul-stirring music inter-twined with the recreation of the principals watching opera at leisure is soon found to be more deceptive than it appears to be.

The young and lovely Susanne (Bloom) who is very naive arrives in war-torn Berlin to visit her brother Martin (Toome) who is in the Military and his lovely wife Bettina (Neff). From the very start Susanne begins to have a concern that her sister-in-law's appearance of anguish and worry may be an indication of her having a dangerous affair.

The beautiful Bettina appears to be sorrowing in secret and there is a boy of 11 or 12 who cycles back and forth from the airport to Martin and Bettina's home. In the background we hear soul-stirring music. Later the music is inter-twined with opera music, but the tension level increases as it is soon evident that war-torn Berlin is enshrouded with danger.

Susanne meets Ivo Kern who is soon revealed to have been Bettina's husband originally. He had been incorrectly reported dead; hence Martin's marriage to Bettina. Susanne begins to suspect that Ivo was Bettina's source of worry.

Ivo had been a black-market lawyer and was planning to reform in recent years. When Ivo invites Susanne to go skating, Bettina appears concerned. This could be rightfully so, for some dangerous former or newly acquired alliances could prove perilous to him and his family and friends.

Susanne and Bettina along with her brother Martin are drawn into a plot which endangers Bettina and Ivo. Susanne's naiveté may be a an endangerment to the principals, which also worries the young boy on the bicycle. In his cycles back and forth, he gathers information for which Ivo pays him. However, The boy is soon worried about his good friend Ivo which is evident by his constant cycling back and forth.

We soon find that Susanne makes an irretrievable error along the way.

The plot thickens when Susanne is mistaken for Bettina and is kidnapped. In helping to rescue Susanne, Ivo finds himself falling in love with her. Susanne returns his affection, but worries about new and frightening developments.... She had formerly mistrusted her new friend, but was now fearful for his safety.

As the story builds to a perilous denouement, every scene is important; every character's actions adds to the heart-stopping suspense. To avoid a Spoiler approaching, I will stop here.

My assessment of the story is an even 10 for cast, content, etc. Under Carol Reed's skillful direction the story is unforgettable.

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