Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

THE CONSPIRATORS


THE CONSPIRATORS (1944). Jean Negulesco.

Paul Henreid stars as Vincent Van Der Lyn, aka "the Flying Dutchman," a spy who is up to his neck in intrigue in Lisbon. There he encounters a beautiful woman, Irene (Hedy Lamarr), with a much older husband, as well as a group of anti-German spies headed by Ricardo Quintanilla (the very un-Spanish Sydney Greenstreet, pictured). When Vincent is framed for the murder of an agent in his hotel room, he manages to escape from prison and sets out to find out who set him up. There is some suspense during the jail break, as well as during the climax in a casino, but The Conspirators is a distinctly third-rate, often illogical and ludicrous spy trifle that seems to take four hours to get nowhere. A host of fine character actors -- Kurt Katch, Victor Francen, among others -- add to the film's limited enjoyment level, but Greenstreet hasn't enough to do and Peter Lorre has even less.

Verdict: Skip it! *1/2.

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