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Conspirator

Conspirator(1949)

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Conspirator was the second picture filmed by M-G-M at its Elstree Studios in Borehamwood, England. For more information on the studio's productions at Elstree, please see the entry below for Edward, My Son. An October 1948 Daily Variety news item noted that half the film would be made in the English countryside. Some filming took place at Manod, in Wales, and three nights of filming took place at the Holborn Underground station in London. A January 1949 New York Times article noted that in addition to closing the Underground station for three successive nights, the London Passenger Transport Board provided M-G-M with a working train and four double-deck buses. The services provided by the London Passenger Transport Board were said to have been part of a new British policy intended to attract more American filmmakers to England.
       A February 6, 1950 news item in Daily Variety noted that the film's story bore some resemblance to the real life story of Dr. Claus Fuchs, a British atomic scientist who was arrested and charged with espionage. The same news item indicated that M-G-M would take full advantage of the timeliness of the case in its promotion of the film. Regional censorship reports contained in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library indicate that the film was banned in Finland on the grounds that it might "jeopardize the relations of foreign countries." An October 1950 news item in Hollywood Citizen-News notes that the film was banned from a theater in New Delhi, India. The news item speculated that the ban May have been ordered by the city of New Delhi following intervention by the Russian embassy. The film received mostly negative reviews when it was released in 1950, and despite its timeliness, many critics disliked the story. The New York Times reviewer called the film "singularly devoid of conviction," while Time magazine called it "a study in stupidity." Elizabeth Taylor was sixteen years old when the film went into production, and Robert Taylor, who played her onscreen husband, was thirty-seven. At the time of its release, the picture was heavily publicized as Elizabeth Taylor's first adult role. A biography of Taylor states that Renee Helmer served as her stand-in.