06/30/2015  
Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30First Peoples on DVD Jul 7Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 on Digital Jun 30 & Blu-ray Combo Jul 14Tough Being Loved By Jerks on DVD Jun 9Turbo Fast: Season One on DVD June 2Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'Star Trek 3' Title Revealed by Director Justin Lin: Ta...
Mexico Won't Be Sending Anyone To Miss Universe Pageant...
Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14...
Cosby lawyer: Unsealing court docs 'terribly embarrassi...
Disney bans selfie sticks at all theme parks, including...
Jimmy Fallon hospitalized after hand injury...
Photos From New Episodes of "The X-Files"...
Apple's decision to pay artists a win for indies, Taylo...
My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests...
Watch The Stars of 'True Detective' Make Shocking Confe...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Home Vision Entertainment presents
I See A Dark Stranger (1946)

O'Callaghan: Cromwell's been dead three hundred years.
Bridie: Not in Ballingarry.

- Brefni O'Rorke, Deborah Kerr

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: February 16, 2003

Stars: Deborah Kerr, Trevor Howard, Raymond Huntley, Tom Macaulay
Director: Frank Launder

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:52m:30s
Release Date: January 21, 2003
UPC: 037429174920
Genre: drama


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B B-B-B C-

DVD Review

There's nothing quite like a long-nursed grudge, especially one that's been passed down through the generations. The deep-seated hatred in some Irish of the English is to a great extent come by rightfully; of course, all that anger and a pound sterling will get you a pint, if you will. There's nothing quite as dangerous as a true believer, and the heroine of this film is a disciple of the first order.

Deborah Kerr plays Bridie Quilty, who has grown up in small town Ireland, hearing nothing but stories about the evil English, and tales of her late father's heroism in the revolution. On her twenty-first birthday, in 1944, Bridie takes the first train to Dublin, to seek out her father's alleged comrades in arms in the Irish Republican Army—she's ready to join the front line of the revolution, to put an end to the troubles, and doesn't want to be confused by the facts.

Of course the war that's on at the time doesn't pit the English against the Irish, but rather against the Axis powers—and if they're fighting the hated English, then begorrah, they're good enough for Bridie Quilty. What follows is a strange amalgam of coming-of-age story and cloak-and-dagger spy picture; and while it's reasonably entertaining, the crossing of genres means more often than not that the film falls between two stools. Bridie is on the case, under cover as a servant girl in a pub; one of the guests is called David Baynes (Trevor Howard), who allegedly is on vacation, but is met with great suspicion, as a spy with crucial information is in a nearby English prison. Could Baynes be there to sabotage the plan by Bridie's co-conspirators to bust one of their own out of gaol?

The story evolves in a peculiar manner—Bridie turns herself into a Mata Hari to help the cause, but may also be falling for Baynes, an impossible thought for this hardened Anglophobe. Unfortunately, the stakes for the characters frequently remain murky, and because the comedic touch of the picture isn't especially deft, the politics of its protagonist seem dangerously cavalier. Bridie has spent all of her twenty-one years nursing a hatred for the English, and her countrymen would surely maintain that she came by it rightfully; but it's quite a leap from there to doing the dirty work for the Third Reich. Just because you hate Cromwell isn't really a satisfactory reason to sign on with Hitler.

Of course, Bridie's naïveté is very much the point; still, her transformation from Irish country lass to Berlin operative is elided over rather too hurriedly. Is the enemy of my enemy my friend, or my enemy? What's a little disappointing is that Bridie throws in with the Nazis all too quickly, and principally off screen. Similarly, the movie leans far too heavily on Kerr's voice-overs, giving us Bridie's interior monologue, ranging from her thoughts on a possible new beau ("Why shouldn't he be deeply and beautifully in love with me?") to the moral dilemmas posed by her newfound occupation ("I've all the troubles in the world on me shoulders").

Still, the film has some considerable virtues, especially in its leading man and woman. Kerr is charming and sharp as Bridie, and even if the character seems a bit lacking, the actress never is; and Trevor Howard is winning, as always. This film comes right in the middle of what must be considered his golden period, which also included Brief Encounter and The Third Man. The final chase, with buffoonish Army officers on the Isle of Man, doesn't reach the sort of comic frenzy that's called for; but the film is also notable for the performance of a young David Tomlinson. Here he plays an intelligence officer, but would later go on to Disneyfied glory as the title character's employer, Mr. Banks, in Mary Poppins.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: The source print used for the DVD transfer doesn't seem to have been as sharp as one might hope; as a result, some of the shadowy scenes look just muddy, and scratches and bits of debris are present with some frequency, as are random vertical lines wafting across the screen. You can't turn lead into gold, I guess.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Things sound mighty fine, given the age of the film; hissing is at a minimum, and the dynamics are pitched well. Kerr's voice-overs can be a little shrill in the upper registers, but that seems like a creative choice, to pipe her in that way, and not a fault of the transfer.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 22 cues and remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Insert booklet with an essay by Richard Maynard
Extras Review: The original trailer is a little overwroughtó"Her heart led men on the most desperate adventure of their lives!" And Richard Maynard's essay overdoes it a bit, too, insisting that the movie "puts us in stitches today." Also! Maynard is overly fond of exclamation points!! Which even after a couple of paragraphs, becomes very annoying!!!

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

The film is most interesting as a calling card for its leading lady, and for the compare-and-contrast aspects between this and The Lady Vanishes, with a script by the same screenwriting team. A peculiar little movie that seems less than the sum of its parts.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

movie, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, j.j. abrams, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, celebrity, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, drama, bill cosby, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, television, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, music, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, hbo, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, inside out, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black., nbc evening news, cnn, robert barnett, daytime soap oprah, general hospital, genie francis, anthony geary, foo fighters, cancellations, wembley stadium, murrayfield, dave grohl, sci-fi, adventure action, avengers: age of ultron, spectre, star wars, cbs, big brother, julie chen, wwe wrestler, professional poker player, a poker dealer, a dentist, and a few college students, documentary, mission: impossible - rogue nation, tom cruise, pixels, adam sandler, ted 2, mark wahlberg, terminator genisys, arnold schwarzenegger, doctor strange, chiwetel ejiofor, benedict cumberbatch, tilda swinton, nightly news, the today show, dateline nbc, duck dynasty, jep robertson, jessica, the good, the bad, and the grace of god: what honesty and pain taught us about faith, family, and forgiveness, good morning america, beyonce, marco gorges, comedy, bridge of spies, tom hanks, steven spielberg, matt carman, coen brothers, spy thriller, true events, mission:impossible rogue nation, christopher mcquarrie, kirk krack, rebecca ferguson, lifetime, deadly adoption, kristen wiig, will ferrell, fantastic beasts and where to find them, eddie redmayne. the theory of everything, louis xiii genius award, critics choice television award, seth mcfarlane, a&e networkfa, family guy

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store