Special Delivery


1h 26m 1955

Film Details

Also Known As
Embassy Baby, The Little Ambassador, Von Himmel Gefallen
Release Date
Sep 1955
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Trans-Rhein-Films
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
Germany and United States
Location
Wiesbaden,Germany

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

At the United States embassy of a small Communist country, charge d'affaires John Adams gives his new secretary, Sgt. Coppenbarger, a tour of the old building, a former gambling casino. John shows the sergeant the garden wall and relates that messages are tossed over it nightly from townspeople requesting political assistance, which the small embassy staff is unable to give. After dinner that evening, to the staff's astonishment, a baby boy is discovered just inside the wall, with a note asking to make the infant free and "a man." John believes they should keep the baby, but Wayne, his Assistant Foreign Minister of Affairs, expresses concern over the publicity of that action. John and the staff informally christen the baby Sam, then John wires Washington, D.C. for approval to grant the child asylum. John asks the embassy cook, Olaf, to look after Sam, who cries throughout the night. The following day the local news reports on Sam's abandonment, and the nation's propaganda minister, Mr. Kovacs, arrives at the embassy, protesting that Sam has been forcibly detained by the Americans. When John counters that the U.S. representatives are sheltering Sam out of humanity, Kovacs accuses them of kidnapping a national. That afternoon a crowd demonstrates just outside the embassy, demanding Sam's release. John telephones Kovacs to complain about his arranging the event, but the minister insists it is a spontaneous display of the public's outrage. John also objects to Kovacs refusing to approve a visa for a female caretaker for Sam, but when Kovacs offers to send a local nurse, John accepts. Kovacs arranges for nurse Sonja Novaswobida to go to the embassy after instructing her to provide information on the embassy activities surrounding Sam. When Sonja reports to the embassy, John restricts her movements. After dismissing Olaf and removing a recording "bug" from her room, Sonja firmly takes over Sam's care. On her day off, Sonja meets with Kovacs, who asks her to describe Sam in detail, and the nurse reveals that the baby has a birthmark on his upper right arm. Kovacs declares he is searching for Sam's mother, then suggests to Sonja that John is merely using the baby to advance his career. At the embassy that evening over dinner, John admits he is hoping for a transfer to London, which saddens Sonja as it appears to confirm Kovacs' allegation of John's ambitiousness. John is awakened late that night by Sam's crying and discovers from Sonja that the baby has a mild cold. Sonja is touched by John's sincere solicitude for the baby and startled when John confesses he has refused the London transfer, which came through after dinner. John admits that he would be in an inferior position in London, but most of all he feels he must remain out of a certain loyalty to his co-workers. The next day, Kovacs tells John that he has located Sam's mother. John remains dubious, but nevertheless agrees to allow Kovacs to bring the woman to see Sam. During the meeting, it is obvious that the woman has been carefully coached about Sam's birthmark, but the mark is mysteriously absent. When the woman cannot explain how the baby was left at the embassy, John dismisses her, and Kovacs offers an awkward apology. John is especially disappointed that the minister knew about Sam's birthmark, because it indicates that Sonja has been acting as a spy, and requests she be replaced. At the embassy celebration marking George Washington's birthday a few nights later, with Kovacs and his representatives present as guests, John gives a speech declaring that Sam has the right to be free. Later, when Sonja reveals to John that she covered the birthmark on the baby's arm with makeup because she knew about Kovacs' intentions, he asks her to stay on. Kovacs asks to meet with John in private and offers money or vital political information in exchange for Sam's release, but John declines. After the party, Sonja dances with each member of the embassy to music from a phonograph, and after they waltz, John confesses his strong feelings for her. Disturbed that she has allowed personal feelings to interfere with her job, Sonja prepares to leave the next day, but John declares his love and pleads with her to remain. Kovacs returns to the embassy with another woman, Lilla, a former embassy employee, who declares that she is the baby's true mother. Lilla confesses that she kept the key to the garden entry and, knowing of the notes left there every night, was confident the patrolling gardener would find Sam quickly. When she mentions that the birthmark is a family trait, John reluctantly accepts that she indeed is Sam's mother. The staff is surprised, however, when Olaf appears and Lilla rushes to him, declaring that he is Sam's father. Olaf is delighted by the news and chastises Lilla for leaving because she believed that he would not want a child. Kovacs declares that despite Olaf's Swedish nationality, children of unwed foreign parents are wards of the state, but John insists that they search for a wedding certificate. John hastily arranges a secret wedding for the couple and back-dates a certificate. When Kovacs protests, John plays a recording of the minister's bribery offer from the night before, and Kovacs abruptly agrees that Sam should remain with his parents and that Sonja stay on at the embassy. After departing, Kovacs arranges a public display of Sam's release, using another baby, while Olaf and Lilla admit they were legally married the year before. John proposes to Sonja, just as a pair of abandoned baby twins are discovered in the embassy garden.

Film Details

Also Known As
Embassy Baby, The Little Ambassador, Von Himmel Gefallen
Release Date
Sep 1955
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Trans-Rhein-Films
Distribution Company
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Country
Germany and United States
Location
Wiesbaden,Germany

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 26m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of the film were The Little Ambassador and Embassy Baby. Bruni Loebel's character name, which is spelled "Lilli" in the Variety review, is pronounced "Leela" in the film. A December 1954 Daily Variety news item indicated that Shelley Winters was to co-star with Joseph Cotten. The picture was shot on location in Weisbaden, Germany, and a German-language version was filmed at the same time, released under the title Vom Himmel Gefallen. As noted in the Variety review, N. Peter Rathvon's Trans-Rhein-Films was a "German-French production company." The Hollywood Reporter review noted that "Kovacs" bears a striking resemblance to the Soviet Union's former prime minister, Vyachislav Molotov.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall September 1955

Released in United States Fall September 1955