Watch on the Rhine - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Watch on the Rhine Reviews

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½ October 29, 2010
Interesting historical piece
February 25, 2010
Oscar win best actor Paul Lukas
January 19, 2010
The writing in this film (thanks to its novelist screenwriter) is surprisingly zesty and clever. The characters (save for some overacting children) seem real and it is easy to care for their plight. I wouldn't say the plot is entirely gripping and it bordered at times on pure propaganda. Bette Davis is the big name but she doesn't play an enormous part, merely fleshes out an excellent ensemble cast. Released in the same year as Casablanca, 1943 was obviously a dark year at the movies where the good vs evil cliche actually took on some realistic and topical meaning.
November 7, 2009
I admire the sentiments of this film and it no doubt served its purpose as good propaganda, but it's very much of its time and isn't particularly great to watch. Its messages are timeless but its characters aren't. Kurt isn't that believable a character because he's essentially just a vessel for the viewpoints that the writers were trying to get across. But Paul Lukas does at least give an excellent performance in the role, his mannerisms and appearance such that he genuinely looks worn-down by his battles against fascism, and so he was probably deserving of his Oscar win because of that. The first half of the film set around the snooty upper-class American society doesn't really sit well with what later follows but again it was all about the overall purpose rather than its artistic quality. Bette Davis is solid as Kurt's wife but is very much playing a supporting role.
½ June 19, 2009
*** (out of four)

Classic Lillian Hellman play that is a bit dated, but still packs a decent emotional punch.

Paul Lukas and Bette Davis flee Europe as World War II progresses. He works in anti-fascist groups and it has been too dangerous to keep his wife and three children there. They move in with Davis' mother and brother in Washington D.C. where the family quickly learns that the enemies may be just as close as they were before.

The Best Actor Oscar went to Lukas in a very meaningful performance. He helps lift the film even when it becomes filled a bit with propaganda-like sentiment.
January 22, 2009
Subtle and very moving, extremely well written and the cast is amazing, particularly Bette Davis, Lucile Watson and Paul Lukas. It's an unusual film for the time, expertly directed. Great score, a wonderful film throughout.
October 28, 2008
Bette Davis's supporting performce. I happen to catch this movie on AMC channel that is from Lillian Hellman's play. I got all caught up in it. I love Bette Davis's performces. I like the way that it show that not all germans were part of Nazi party. It is relates to us today to show that not all Muslims are terrorists. The movie shows to duty to do the greater good. the struggle of good and evil. Movie show also how americans here did not really know what was happening over in Europe, especailly Germany, during the late 1930's.
September 4, 2008
Very good film starring Bette Davis and Paul Lukas in his Oscar winning role as a key member of the underground anti-fascist movement during the early years of WWII. It starts out pretty slow, but once they Davis, Lukas and their children finally get to the house it starts picking up. Lukas does give a great performance, especially near the very end. Their children, mainly Bodo, got a bit annoying at times, but at least they're weren't in it too much. Sure, it's a little too patriotic, but it gets the message across and does a fine job of it.
½ April 25, 2008
Really, really brutal film for 1943.
½ April 15, 2008
The message and heart was in the right place, but this is the typical 40's Hollywood movie that I hate. The filming style, score, acting, all of it...I just hate it. Also it was too patriotic for my taste.
½ April 6, 2008
Stagy, preechy, drama that works in spite of itself thanks to heartfelt performances.
August 31, 2007
Paul Lukas as an anti-Nazi resistance leader. Great movie based on the Lillian Hellman play. Bette Davis is remarkable.
½ August 15, 2007
Bette Davis and Paul Lukas stars as a German fascist couple with children that somehow gets into the US to stay with her mother and brother, but all the while, they have a houseguest with ulterior motives of his own.
½ August 1, 2007
This is a very disturbing movie, not for its depiction of ruthless Nazi spies in Washington before we entered World War II, but for its unapologetic embrace of vigilantism and murder in support of a "just" cause. No surprise that it was written by Commie fellow traveler and lifelong Stalinist Lillian Hellman, who avidly supported Stalin's show trials and purges.

It can't happen here? Hellman sure wanted it to.
July 19, 2007
July 1, 2007
There are actually Rolexes scattered all over the Rhine.
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2007
a cautionary tale about the insidiousness of evil and the danger of complacency
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