The Man Between

1953

Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

as Ivo Kern
as Susanne Mallison
as Bettina Mallison
as Martin Mallison
720p 1080p
713.09 MB
988*720
English
K-16
24.000
01 hr 40 min
P/S 18 / 76
1.52 GB
1472*1072
English
K-16
24.000
01 hr 40 min
P/S 20 / 85

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by kitsilanoca-1 10 / 10

Snow Covered Streets of Post-War Berlin

This taut film noir when compared to Carol Reed's masterpieces of that genre, Odd Man Out and The Third Man, is a flawed gem, but still that - a gem.

Filmed in Berlin just eight years after WWII ended, and eight years before the Wall went up, it stars James Mason and Claire Bloom as star-crossed lovers in a city still digging itself out of the rubble made by Allied bombs, and still taking refugees from the east of Europe. The story tells of Susanne Mallison, a young Englishwoman who has arrived in Berlin to visit her older brother Martin, an army physician in the British sector of the city, and his German wife Bettina. It is while Susanne and Bettina are spending a day in the eastern sector, that Bettina finds herself reluctantly introducing Susanne to an old friend, the suave and handsome Ivo Kern. Susanne doesn't like Ivo at first -the audience isn't supposed to either - and she immediately becomes suspicious that he and Bettina are having a clandestine affair. She is curious though about the man, but will she learn the truth about Ivo and his mysterious background?

Meanwhile off the set of the film there was more going on behind the scenes between the two stars. From the book 'James Mason - A Personal Biography', by Mason's former sister-in-law and life long friend, Diana de Rosso: "I was to observe another side of his character, rarely disclosed, when he came to London to finish filming The Man Between. He was a frequent visitor to our London home and he began to bring with him increasingly, his ethereally lovely co-star Claire Bloom...He showed a marked interest in the young actress. There was a quality about her, a stillness and tranquillity which set her apart from most artists her age, yet she had a pointed wit and a fine intelligence, virtues which appealed to James - and it was quite apparent that he was in danger of losing his heart. In truth I believe his heart was lost...His attachment to Claire was purely romantic. They used to sit on the floor together in our house, hand in hand, plainly adoring each other..."

But as with Ivo and Susanne, it was the same with James and Claire. Mason did not divorce his estranged wife Pamela Kellino, and de Rosso was surprised that he didn't, but she has some theories. When he finally did get his divorce a few years later, Claire had moved on to other things in her career and private life. Still, when they met again several years later, it was clear that Mason still was very fond of her and she likewise.

When I first saw this film I questioned whether Mason's German accent was very good, but when I lent it to a pair of friends who are German, they said that he did a good job. As for the German supporting cast, it is the best, especially the lovely Hildegard Neff, and the hauntingly beautiful musical score catches the bleak feeling of the city during a cold winter. They are also reasons I list this as one of my favourite film noir productions.

Reviewed by Jem Odewahn 8 / 10

Wonderful Mason And Bloom Chemistry

Carol Reed and James Mason...it's Odd Man Out, isn't it? Wrong! Reed and Mason also teamed up for the rarely-seen, relatively inferior, yet quite valuable The Man Between six years later. While the film is nowhere near the masterpiece that Odd Man Out is, it has a number of redeeming virtues and is a must-see for James Mason fans.

Reed again focused his plot on his events that occur in city in turmoil. Last time it was Belfast and Vienna (The Third Man. Now it's post-war Berlin, and Germany divided into two. Reed liked these atmospheric, shadowy, morally bleak settings (they become almost a "character" in the film), and the physical (the East-West divide in Berlin, the zones of Austria) and emotional (the attitudes of the citizens of Belfast)barriers that engulf and separate people.

The Man Between was filmed in both Berlin and London, as Odd Man Out was also in Belfast and London and The Third Man in Vienna and England. Yet it doesn't have the visual pull of the other two films- perhaps because Robert Krasker is missing, but probably more so due to a smaller budget. The photography is nowhere near as inspired as in the other two films, and the filming in the first half of The Man Between is rather flat and ordinary. Once we get to the "love-on-the-run" scenes however, it picks up markedly and we start getting the trademark Reed camera tilts, shadowy streets and inspired visual flair.

Claire Bloom, that lovely, intelligent, graceful and ethereal actress, gives a wonderful performance as Sussan Mallison, a young English girl who travels to Berlin to visit her brother and his wife Bettina (the excellent German actress Hildegaarde Neff, looking strikingly like Ginger Rogers!). The film is really about Susan's personal journey, as she goes from seeing things in black-and-white at the beginning of the film to falling in love with Ivo Kern (James Mason), a criminal.

Ivo Kern immediately draws comparisons to Harry Lime in The Third Man and many have referred to Mason's performance (and the overall film) as a pale imitation of the earlier film, and a desperate attempt by Reed to repeat the success of The Third Man. Well, I have to disagree. Of course Reed wanted to make another film as successful, but he doesn't tell the same story in this film, no. The narrative is much more focused around the romance between Sussan and Ivo, whereas Lime is callous in his treatment of Anna (Valli), telling Holly Martin "to be good to Anna, you'll find that she's worth it". He only really sees her as a person that he can use; Kern wants to protect Sussan. And Kern, even though he is delved into post-war crime activities, still maintains his moral core...he seems tired, an unwilling accomplice in the attempt to get hold of Kestner.

Perhaps the film falters in that's it's themes and concerns are not as powerful as Odd Man Out or The Third Man, Reed seems to be lacking inspiration at times here. But the performances are excellent- Mason and Bloom are a joy to watch.Apparently Mason fell deeply in love with the young actress at the time of filming. And the chemistry shows. They seem so intuitive together in their acting-its the quiet moments, the glances and the touch of a hand, that almost give it away. They only kiss once, but it's still probably Mason's hottest screen kiss. It is lovely to watch these two work together, and so poignant (when you know about the off-screen stuff) to watch their final scenes together ("Will we ever meet again, Ivo?").

Perhaps the film's main flaw is that the first half is much too plot-driven, you really have to pay close attention to the film to know what is going on with the Kestner plot, otherwise you'll be confused (the heavily accented English from the German actors makes it even harder, though Neff is a clear and wonderful speaker). Mason too affects a German accent, similar to what he did with Rommel in The Desert Rats (he sounds a lot like one of my Uni lecturers who is German, so he must have been doing something right).

See it for the wonderful Mason and Bloom performances, chemistry and their scenes together. It's a good little film.

Reviewed by ([email protected]) 8 / 10

Welcome to Reeds world


Vintage Reed with all the elements from his films of the period. The innocent (Bloom) whose view needs to be muddied. The world weary, complex hero/villain. The confusion and ambiguities veering between love and hate, trust and betrayal, weakness and strength. Humans pulled from their comfortable lives and twisted by circumstance. The worn surroundings of war torn Berlin an extra character in the plot. All this in typical stark angled Reed view, with an atmospheric signature tune used noticeably towards the end, and a scene sequence mirroring the ambiguities of the characters.

Whilst the film doesn't flow as fluently and seamlessly as The Third Man, Mason and Bloom create eminently watchable if not entirely rounded characters.

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