Torn Curtain (1966)
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In this Alfred Hitchcock film, Michael Armstrong is an American scientist who pretends to be a defector to East Germany so he can discover the details of the Soviet's nuclear missiles. After discovering the missile secrets, Armstrong and his fiancee must overcome a number of dangerous obstacles to escape Germany.
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Critic Reviews for Torn Curtain
Alfred Hitchcock's 1966 spy thriller has one of the lowest reputations of his late works. Coming after a masterpiece like Marnie, it almost had to be a disappointment. But Hitchcock was incapable of making an uninteresting film.
Hitchcock freshens up his bag of tricks in a good potpourri which becomes a bit stale through a noticeable lack of zip and pacing.
An above-average quota of glaringly shaky process work; but at least one classic sequence of protracted violence in a farmhouse kitchen.
In these times, with James Bonds cutting capers and pallid spies coming in out of the cold, Mr. Hitchcock will have to give us something a good bit brighter to keep us amused.
Hitchcock's 50th feature is one of his weakest, but it's worth seeing for the place it occupies in the master's career, his attempt to come to terms with the new movie market, genres, and tastes.
While there are some undeniably tense moments, this is Hitchcock on autopilot, and quite unrewarding.
Dull and way too long, Torn Curtain is only memorable for one very shocking and brutal scene.
Hitchcock's fiftieth film retains Marnie's super-fake process shots and soundstage sets, but renders them in near-abstract minimalism, creating a world of utter sterility.
One of Mr. Hitchcock's most underrated efforts.
Taut, violent, but only average Hitch
Second tier Hitch, but watchable.
Hitchcock misses the mark in this latter-day spy thriller. Not one of his best.
Audience Reviews for Torn Curtain
Coming out after the essential flop that was Marnie, Hitch delivered once again a troubled movie that also basically flopped, and that film is this: his 50th feature.
And this film really did have a troubled production. Half of the budget was spent securing Paul Newman and Julie Andrews in the lead roles, and they weren't Hitch's choices, but ones appointed by the studio. It didn't help that Hitch and Newman didn't get along all that well either. Bernard Herrmann was supposed to do the score, and fragments of it can be experienced as a dvd extra, but the studio opted for someone else, someone who could give a somewhat more upbeat score, and this essentially led to Herrmann never working with Hitch again. On top of that, the film was originally supposed to be a psychological drama told from the perspective of Andrews's character, but instead was turned into just another Cold War espionage thriller. Even Hitch called this his least enjoyable work of his own.
With all that out of the way, I now give my review. While the film really isn't that good, it's not really terrible, just nothing new and generic. Despite being overlong drawn out, and uninspired, It is well shot, and the music is okay, as are the fine, albeit unspectacular performances. The Hitch cameo is quite amusing, but the real highlight of the movie is a scene that depicts just how difficult it can sometimes be to murder someone. Despite being generic, this film still manages to be quite suspense and intense at times, and that's really impressive.
All in all, this film might be a low point, but it's not a truly colossal mess, though I don't recommend it unless you're a completist.
It has the feel of any Hitchcock film but seems empty. With Paul Newman starring as the new Cary Grant, you still have a strong protagonist but the story seems to fall flat at some point. It might be during the second half when desperation is at its best and the audience has to be put in a very uncomfortable situation. For any fan of the director, its still a passable entry but wont meet the high tier of films like Saboteur or North by Northwest.More
Though it is a minor work for Hitchcock, this one still features many great moments and in my opinion is a huge step up from the two films before it.More
I hate to say it but Torn Curtain is fairly terrible. It's plot is thin, the script is awful and the lead acting and the story are a real let down. It's fairly well known that the production didn't exactly go to plan and many said during the filming that it was doomed from the start but to be fair, it does have some good points. The scene in the farm house is brilliant, pure Hitchcock and utterly unforgettable. The colours and many of the scenes are as beautiful as you'd expect from a Hitchcock film and the supporting cast generally do a good job. It is just the ridiculous plot that is the problem, Paul Newman and Julie Andrews's characters are pretty stupid considering they are rocket scientists! Newman's heart isn't in it and Julie Andrews is woefully miscast. A real shame.More
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