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U-Boat 29

U-Boat 29(1939)

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  • Wow, what a terrific surprise

    • new Mexican
    • 4/23/17

    First, both U-Boat 29 and The Spy in Black are silly, meaningless titles for this remarkable little film. However, the film itself is good through and through, beginning to end. Indeed, it was so absorbing, I wanted it to go on and on. Conrad Veidt really does show a considerably wider range than Major Strasser, matched by Valerie Hobson, who is not at all limited to being a decorative English rose. And what a solid supporting cast. Every one of them seems completely absorbed within the roles.There are some built-in challenges about which forewarning is only fair. Especially for latter day Americans, lots of confusion is probable, both audibly and visually. There is a mixture of unfamiliar accents -- a number of which are Scottish -- and spoken German where appropriate, though also appropriately usually with no clear signals in advance. Many of the characters are playing incognito roles so the uniforms are no dependable indication of alliances even if you can spot German or British variations in uniforms in a black and white film. Nothing about the film is slipshod or designed to make understanding difficult, those tricky aspects are simply built in for a non-British audience watching the film 70 /- years later.Otherwise, the story is crackerjack, acting first rate and the settings splendid and dramatic, especially for what was probably a low budget film. There are far more twists and turns and variations of tempo and perspective than you would predict.This film is exactly the ticket for a night at home alone, completely absorbing, intelligent, and flashing "The End" much too soon.

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