Cast & Crew
O. E. Hasse
In 1943, Gen. Charles Larraby of British intelligence receives a message from agent "Rembrandt" in Holland, saying that his code has been broken. Meanwhile, in occupied Holland, Dutch intelligence officer Col. Pieter Deventer, the spy known as Rembrandt, is arrested by Nazi officers and taken to see Col. Helmuth Dietrich, who offers to free Pieter if he will become a double agent. German headquarters are then raided by a local Resistance group under the command of a man known as "The Scarf," and Pieter is rescued. The Scarf and his men take Pieter to their hideout in a sawmill, and The Scarf says he carried out the assignment as a favor to the British. Just then, a radio bulletin reports Pieter's rescue and announces the names of three prominent Dutch citizens who will be killed if Pieter is not returned to German custody by the following morning. At the appointed time, Pieter is still at large, and the executions are carried out. In England six months later, shortly before the invasion at Normandy, Pieter visits his commander, Gen. Ten Eyck, who informs him that Larraby wishes to send an agent into Holland to act as a liaison between British intelligence and The Scarf. Ten Eyck says the plan is to have Carla Van Oven, a Dutch woman living in England, impersonate music teacher Fran Saylors, who has been collaborating with the Nazis for some time. Peter voices concern over Carla's character, pointing out that she had dabbled in the black market and associated with Nazis before her husband was killed. Armed with her file, Pieter goes to Carla's apartment and confronts her about her questionable past. Carla insists that she loved her husband and wants to work for her country to avenge his death. Carla goes through an intensive training program for spies, but is injured in a parachute jump. Fearing for her safety, Pieter urges Carla, whom he has come to respect, to give up espionage, but she replies that her work has become her reason for living. Pieter and Carla kiss, and soon are involved in a serious romance. The time comes for Carla to carry out her mission, and, disguised as Fran, she parachutes into the Dutch town of Arnhem. Carla is met by The Scarf, who tells her that Fran has been killed for collaborating. A lone wolf who fights Nazis for the excitement, The Scarf balks at the idea of working for the British, but admits his attraction to Carla. The Scarf takes Carla to her quarters and gives her a passionate kiss goodbye as the landlady, Frau Gilder, looks on. Behaving in character, Carla then has her landlady's grandson Jan remove the picture of Queen Wilhelmina from her room. Carla is soon visited by Capt. Von Stanger, who requests her presence at a Nazi dinner party the following week. Resistance forces attack the party, and Jan is about to kill Carla when The Scarf intervenes. The following morning, Carla attempts to give The Scarf an assignment from London, but he declines to cooperate. Instead The Scarf takes Carla to his family home to meet his mother, to whom he is extremely attached. The Scarf is devastated to see that his mother has had her head shaved--the punishment for collaborators--and his brother Chris says the local villagers suspected her of being involved with a German soldier. Enraged, The Scarf tells Carla to inform the British that he will fight under their orders. One night, Jan is badly injured during a raid, and before dying, tells Carla and Frau Gilder that they were ambushed. The Allies liberate Holland, and Pieter is sent to Arnhem to assist The Scarf, whose organization has been suffering remarkably high losses since joining forces with the British. Larraby suggests that Carla is betraying the Resistance group to the Nazis and asks Pieter to handle the situation. Meanwhile, Carla tells The Scarf she believes he is being betrayed, and begs him in vain not to go on that night's raid. Late that night, Pieter surprises Carla in The Scarf's room and tells her the latest raid has been a disaster. Unaware of Pieter's suspicions, Carla says that The Scarf always conducts his raids by the light of a full moon, and that his men are attacked by snipers rather than artillery. She concludes that The Scarf has engineered the ambushes in such a way that he will not be killed. Pieter scoffs at her theory, and when Carla realizes that he thinks she is behind the ambushes, she is crushed. She convinces him she is not capable of such betrayal, and assures him that The Scarf will once again emerge unscathed. At that moment, the surviving Resistance fighters return and report that The Scarf has been wounded and captured. Pieter bitterly places Carla under arrest and leaves her in the custody of The Scarf's men. However, when the Germans later ambush thousands of British paratroopers and seal off Arnhem--with The Scarf safely in a hospital behind enemy lines--Pieter begins to wonder if Carla's story is true. Dietrich is captured, and Pieter visits him in prison and repeats the offer the German made him earlier: freedom in exchange for being a double agent. Dietrich accepts, and they go behind German lines and remove The Scarf from the hospital. Pieter then kills Dietrich and escapes with The Scarf in a plane. Back in Holland, Pieter informs The Scarf of Carla's allegations, and The Scarf vows to kill her. After The Scarf boasts that he can easily get into Arnhem and maps out the route he will use, Pieter proposes that the British use the route to smuggle out their paratroopers. The mission is a success, and Pieter accuses The Scarf of betraying his men to avenge the wrong committed against his beloved mother. Pieter demands to see where The Scarf was shot by the Nazis, and The Scarf rips off his bandages to reveal a healthy body. The Scarf then attempts to flee, but is shot to death by Pieter and the British agents. The rescued paratroopers return, and Pieter is thrilled to see Carla among them.
O. E. Hasse
Wilfred Hyde White
A. W. Watkins
F. A. Young
Betrayed (1954) is loosely inspired by the real-life allied military operation at Arnhem in September 1944, known as Operation Market Garden. Field Marshal Montgomery planned to fly divisions of paratroopers into the region in order to capture several key bridges and hasten Germany's defeat. However, lack of sufficient transport, unlucky timing and unexpectedly strong German resistance meant that the operation failed in its key objectives and that large numbers of paratroopers were stranded behind enemy lines; approximately fifteen hundred Allied troops were killed and six thousand captured. In the film, by contrast, the military operation is instead endangered by intelligence leaks.
Betrayed is especially notable for its location work in London and Holland; it was in fact the most extensive use of actual Dutch locations--mainly Arnhem and Amsterdam--in a Hollywood feature to date. The film's cinematographer, F. A. (Freddie) Young, takes full advantage of the picturesque Dutch buildings and landscape; the overall color scheme and many of the compositions are clearly inspired by Dutch painting. Young (1902-1998) was among the most accomplished color cinematographers of the era, winning Oscars® for Ivanhoe (1952), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Ryan's Daughter (1970).
Gregory Peck was originally slated for the lead part, and at one point Richard Widmark was also proposed to co-star. Ava Gardner, who had played opposite Gable to smoldering effect in Mogambo (1953), was considered for the female lead before Lana Turner was finally chosen. As a result, Betrayed became the fourth and last collaboration between Clark Gable and Lana Turner, the previous three being Honky Tonk (1941), Somewhere I'll Find You (1942) and Homecoming (1948). It was also Gable's last picture for MGM before he decided to pursue an independent career. The studio was reluctant to offer Gable the kind of terms he wanted for his new contract, in part because the studio as a whole had fallen on hard times, and in part because three of Gable's most recent projects--the Westerns Across the Wide Missouri (1951) and Lone Star (1952) and the Iron Curtain melodrama Never Let Me Go (1953)--had proved box-office disasters. The studio tried to resume contract negotiations- to no avail -when Mogambo turned out to be a box office smash and brought in rave reviews for Gable's performance.
Director Gottfried Reinhardt (1913-1994) was the son of the famed theater director Max Reinhardt and wrote a 1979 biography of him entitled Genius. From the 1940s to the early 50s Reinhardt worked mainly as a producer, his most enduring (and troubled) project being The Red Badge of Courage (1951). His directing debut was the Dorothy McGuire/Van Johnson melodrama Invitation (1952). Starting in the mid-1950s, Reinhardt divided his time between directing Hollywood and West-German productions. By far the best-known film of the latter period is the Kirk Douglas courtroom drama Town Without Pity (1961).
Unlike Clark Gable's previous film, Mogambo, Betrayed was neither a box office nor a critical success during its initial release. While reviewers at the time tended to criticize the direction and the screenplay, they were virtually unanimous in their praise of F. A. Young's color cinematography; the Variety reviewer compared it to the FitzPatrick travelog films. Jack Moffitt of The Hollywood Reporter may have hyperbolized somewhat, but he was more on the mark about Freddie Young's achievement; he writes: "The darkly tinted closeups of Gable (who is of Dutch ancestry) often look as though they'd been painted by Rembrandt." The film is also interesting today as an example of how scriptwriters of the era tried to capitalize on the fad for Freudian psychoanalysis, particularly in its depiction of "The Scarf's" unusually strong devotion for his mother.
Director: Gottfried Reinhardt
Screenplay: Ronald Millar, George Froeschel
Cinematography: F. A. Young
Art Director: Alfred Junge
Music: Walter Goehr; music and lyrics for "Johnny Come Home" by Walter Goehr and Ronald Millar
Editor: John Dunning
Miss Turner's Costumes: Balmain, Paris
Principal Cast: Clark Gable (Col. Pieter Deventer); Lana Turner (Carla Van Oven); Victor Mature (The Scarf); Louis Calhern (Gen. Ten Eyck); O. E. Hasse (Col. Helmuth Dietrich); Wilfrid Hyde-White (Gen. Charles Larraby); Nora Swinburne (The Scarf's Mother); Lily Kann (Jan's Grandmother); Brian Smith (Jan).
C-109m. Closed captioning.
by James Steffen
The working title of the film was The True and the Brave. Voice-over narration by Louis Calhern as "Gen. Ten Eyck" is heard intermittently throughout the film. According to a June 30, 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, Gregory Peck was originally sought for the leading role, and a August 28, 1953 news item reported that Richard Widmark would be borrowed from Twentieth Century-Fox to co-star in the film. An August 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item notes that dancer Boscoe Holder tested for a role, and an October 1953 news item adds Erna Onderdonk to the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed.
Most of the film was shot on location in London and Holland. Studio publicity material contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library indicates that additional filming was done at M-G-M's Culver City studio to accommodate Calhern and other actors who were not available for work in Europe. Betrayed was Clark Gable's last film under his long-term contract with M-G-M. Gable left the studio after twenty-three years to pursue free-lance work. It was also the last of four films in which Gable and Lana Turner co-starred.
Released in United States Summer August 1954
A Dutch woman accused of being a spy for the Nazis is captured by a Dutch colonel who believes he can retrain her to work for the good of her country.
Released in United States Summer August 1954