Torn Curtain | Chicago Reader

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, even when burdened with unsympathetic stars like Julie Andrews and Paul Newman, and Torn Curtain has its moments, most notably in a murder scene that attacks the movie myth of quick and painless killing. The first half of the film, with Newman as an opportunistic missile scientist trying to worm his way into East Berlin so he can pick the brain of a leading communist researcher, has a complicated, off-centered moral tone that the second half of the film, a more or less straightforward chase, dismayingly allows to wither away. With Lila Kedrova and David Opatoshu. 128 min.

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