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Author Topic: Hotel Reserve (1944)  (Read 44 times)
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« on: October 15, 2017, 01:04:29 PM »

Seen on TV. 6

** This review may contain spoilers ***

Recently re-watching the enjoyable Gris title A Touch of Larceny,I started looking for other easy-going Gris/Thrillers starring James Mason.Whilst searching round,I found that the BBC were showing a Thriller with Mason,which led to me reserving a viewing.

The plot:

Seeing war on the horizon in 1938, Peter Vadassy decides to apply for French citizenship,whilst going on a photographing holiday and staying at the remote Hotel Reserve. Going to collect his latest photos,Vadassy is gripped a spy who says photos of French military installations have been found on his camera. Taking a closer look,Vadassy discovers that a fellow guest has secretly switched his camera. Freed,Vadassy is told he must find out who took the photos,at the Hotel Reserve.

View on the film:

Taking not one,but three directors to make (!),the mix of the trio leads to a constantly unsettled changing of tone. Put together by editor Sidney Stone,the film darts between a murky Spiv tale and a jet-set Thriller abrasively, with it going from stylishly low shadows and seeping steam,to the light-Thriller sunny outdoors with no shading of dour darkness intact. Being the main person who almost keeps things together, Lennox Berkeley delivers an excellent score, (he sadly only did 4 scores) which pounds on the anxiety and unease of Vadassy's secret mission.

Going into the hotel from Eric Ambler's book Epitaph For A Spy, John Davenport (who was literary editor of "The Observer newspaper) casts an eye on espionage in tense exchanges between Vadassy and his fellow guests at the hotel,with the clipped exchanges between them all signalling hidden secrets. Finishing Vadassy's mission with a twist that would later be used in a large number of Gialli, Davenport cleverly makes the twist work by having Vadassy casually build the wrong impression in swift asides. Joined by a simmering Herbert Lom and elegant Patricia Medina as Andre and Odette,James Mason gives a terrific,dashing performance as Vadassy,who spies on the hotel reserves.

Jessica Rabbit
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« Reply #1 on: Yesterday at 08:49:00 AM »

Never even heard of this one. Sounds good. Smiley


Jessica Rabbit
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cigar joe
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« Reply #2 on: Yesterday at 11:41:56 AM »

Never even heard of this one. Sounds good. Smiley

Neither have I.


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