Varian's War Reviews

  • Jun 11, 2017

    Not terribly exciting by Nazi movie standards maybe, but rich, and nicely done production-wise ... watching & imagining going on such a mission in a fascist right-wing era when not only Nazi nut jobs were on-the-loose but also Vichy scum (so described in Spielberg's "Munich"). And nearly anything in which Julia Ormand is appearing ... well, that'd be worth watching. Very true here.

    Not terribly exciting by Nazi movie standards maybe, but rich, and nicely done production-wise ... watching & imagining going on such a mission in a fascist right-wing era when not only Nazi nut jobs were on-the-loose but also Vichy scum (so described in Spielberg's "Munich"). And nearly anything in which Julia Ormand is appearing ... well, that'd be worth watching. Very true here.

  • Jim H Super Reviewer
    Apr 07, 2011

    An American intellectual arranges the escape of European intellectuals from unoccupied France during the beginning of WWII. Once again, William Hurt turns in a fantastic performance. As Varian, he must alternatively play the inspirational soldier, the gay fop, and the determined crusader, and he does it all with the characteristic Hurt charm and distinctive mannerisms. And next time you see a Hurt film be sure to notice his unwavering gaze, signifying he is constantly in the moment and present in the scene. The film itself leaves something to be desired. Varian's mission, to rescue only intellectuals and artists, is definitionally elitist, and I wish there was more attention or recognition of this fact in the film's action. All we get are brief scenes of Varian and his cohorts lamenting that they can't take all who need to flee, but there is no substantive challenge of his character. Also, director Lionel Chetwynd's Nazi Germany is not nearly as dangerous or brutal as other depictions. Perhaps Chetwynd expects us to bring to the film pre-conceived notions of Nazi Germany and feels no necessity to show the horrors. But what comes across instead is a slight menace, devoid of the real danger facing these people. And as the characters escape, they do so through the pastoral of scenes. Such a depiction doesn't reflect what reality must have been like and certainly doesn't equate to compelling drama. Overall, see this film to see why William Hurt is such a strong actor, all the while attempting to ignore the structural and thematic issues.

    An American intellectual arranges the escape of European intellectuals from unoccupied France during the beginning of WWII. Once again, William Hurt turns in a fantastic performance. As Varian, he must alternatively play the inspirational soldier, the gay fop, and the determined crusader, and he does it all with the characteristic Hurt charm and distinctive mannerisms. And next time you see a Hurt film be sure to notice his unwavering gaze, signifying he is constantly in the moment and present in the scene. The film itself leaves something to be desired. Varian's mission, to rescue only intellectuals and artists, is definitionally elitist, and I wish there was more attention or recognition of this fact in the film's action. All we get are brief scenes of Varian and his cohorts lamenting that they can't take all who need to flee, but there is no substantive challenge of his character. Also, director Lionel Chetwynd's Nazi Germany is not nearly as dangerous or brutal as other depictions. Perhaps Chetwynd expects us to bring to the film pre-conceived notions of Nazi Germany and feels no necessity to show the horrors. But what comes across instead is a slight menace, devoid of the real danger facing these people. And as the characters escape, they do so through the pastoral of scenes. Such a depiction doesn't reflect what reality must have been like and certainly doesn't equate to compelling drama. Overall, see this film to see why William Hurt is such a strong actor, all the while attempting to ignore the structural and thematic issues.

  • Jan 29, 2009

    well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch...its got a good cast of actors/actressess thorughout this movie...i think that both william hurt n julia ormond play good parts throughout this movie...i also think that lynn redgrave n alan arkin play good parts throughout this movie...sure its a made for tv movie but its pretty good 2 watch...i think that the director of this tv drama movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie its a powerful movie n its really enjoyable thorughout this movie

    well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch...its got a good cast of actors/actressess thorughout this movie...i think that both william hurt n julia ormond play good parts throughout this movie...i also think that lynn redgrave n alan arkin play good parts throughout this movie...sure its a made for tv movie but its pretty good 2 watch...i think that the director of this tv drama movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie its a powerful movie n its really enjoyable thorughout this movie

  • Feb 01, 2008

    Just because I'm interested in WWII dramas. This one was too slow and with a lack of nerve...

    Just because I'm interested in WWII dramas. This one was too slow and with a lack of nerve...

  • Jan 27, 2008

    Not a bad movie. Apparently based on a true story. The begin looks reasonably realistic enough. Somehow I found the last part to be less realistic. Still, a nice watch.

    Not a bad movie. Apparently based on a true story. The begin looks reasonably realistic enough. Somehow I found the last part to be less realistic. Still, a nice watch.