Watch on the Rhine Reviews
Sara and Kurt flee Germany back into the United States with their three children. They have extended family in the US. Kurt sympathizes for his countrymen and creates an underground railroad of sorts to save German refugees. When Kurt turns up missing, Sara tries to keep her sons from finding out about their father's past and following in his footsteps.
Herman Shumlin, director of Confidential Agent, delivers Watch on the Rhine in his directorial debut. The storyline for this picture is very good and well executed. The characters and sub plots are entertaining and the acting is very good. The cast includes Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Eric Roberts, Anthony Caruso, and Henry Daniell.
"Please do not talk. Please don't seem nervous."
I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to give it a shot because it starred the magnificent Bette Davis. She was excellent in this film and the content was well told. This has some worthwhile sequence of events that makes it worth watching once for fans of the classics.
"Fashions of sin change."
The movie also strikingly doesn't feel like propaganda, even though the message was clearly to move its audience into action (aren't all worthwhile films aimed at personal change?). It presented a very enlightening, moving perspective on both the German menace and the Underground protagonists. Muller (Paul Lukas) explains how we will one day feel pity for those Germans who just "follow orders" and are really just fools, like De Brancovis (George Coulouris). And the perspective that Muller and the Underground may indeed be like the evil they fight - to see Muller admit he was bad. Situations like this are not black and white.
After seeing this, my sister wanted to learn more about WWII, the Underground, and the Holocaust. Through it, she's had the experience I've had so long ago.
In that time, I see character, selflessness, and purpose greater than self. I love it so, and I am saddened by the blatant selfishness that defines today's society. Movies like this inspire me and make me see continually that ideals and convictions can be attained and are indeed beautiful.
(1943) Watch On The Rhine
DRAMA/ SOCIAL COMMENTARY
Based on a stage play written by Dashiell Hammett and put on screen about justification over eliminating Nazis war crimianls who escape, bringing their beliefs and their antisemitic activities overseas after WWII!
Well acted by cast which won the "Oscar for Best Actor" for Paul Lucas as Kurt out of 4 nominations but this film is very tame in todays standards, now that we have films like The Marathon Man! this movie is very preachy, outdated and talkative, which if a film were to be made like this toaday wouldn've work- it needs to push some boundaries!
2 out of 4 stars