The Great Manhunt Film Details
Overview: In post-WW2 Europe, when the dictator of a small police state dies during surgery, the operating surgeon, who’s a visiting American doctor, is held captive in order to preserve the terrible state secret.
Review: When you see films of the caliber of ‘State Secret’ it makes you ask how the industry can ‘loose’ them for so long between the rare screenings! The credits for this near forgotten classic are masterful. Produced and Directed by the talented team of Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat (Hitchcock collaborators from way back) this has style that puts some of Hitch’s films to shame. Gilliat also adapted the screenplay from prolific writer: Roy Huggins novel. The film moves along at a cracking pace, with a chase across many varied landscapes…night journeys on river barges, over deadly Mountain ranges, through city streets, etc. The Director of Photography is none other than Award winner Robert Krasker (‘The Third Man’ – ‘El Cid’, etc) and assisting him is future feature Director: Guy Green (‘James Bond’ – ‘Remo’, etc) The look these professionals create together is first class. If you enjoy fast moving suspense dramas, tinged with wry touches of humour this could be waiting for you to discover (or re-visit) Cast wise: Douglas Fairbanks Jr is surprisingly good in a mature roll of famous Surgon, framed by foreign agents to perform operation on ‘mystery man’ with dynamite results! In an early role, the astonishingly ‘cute’ Glynis Johns is marvelous. Herbert Lom is used to excellent effect as an international con man drawn into a dangerous liaison with the escaping duo. Jack Hawkins, as usual, is totally convincing as the menacing political manipulator. This film journey is filled with creative touches throughout. Find it on DVD (if you can) otherwise scour the TV Guide and don’t miss it. Gem Digital TV in Australia somehow dug it out of the vaults (they probably inherited it in a package deal without being aware what they had – this often happens) then screened it as one of their Sunday afternoon movies. As usual, they presented it in their throw-away, semi-unprofessional manor, with the way too LARGE, lolly ‘PINK’ station Logo running over the stylish B/W photography. Then proceeded to pepper it with gaudy colour ‘pop up’ adds, for shows that the audience for this style of movie won’t watch in a pink fit! Don’t they know…has no one taught them? While at least they had a superbly re-mastered print with clear image and good contrast, they then ran the sound track through an ‘auto level controller’ (A.L.C.) so that during the films quieter moments the ALC unit goes off looking for sound that’s not even there, leaving the viewer to suffer ‘Hiss and Background noise’ till someone speaks again. Pitiful. Oh well, at least they did screen it! Bless their little hearts!
Duration: 97 min
Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
Also known as: Statshemmelighed,Segreto di stato,絶壁の彼方に,Secreto de Estado,The Great Manhunt,Statshemlighet,Secret d’état,Synagermos sta Valkania,State Secret,Segredo de Estado,Staatsgeheimnis,Državna tajna,Valtiosalaisuus,Secret de stat,To mystiko ton kataskopon,Staatsgeheim