Movie Review – 36 Hours

January 14, 2010 - 1 Comment

by Jim Barnes

If we run short of new historically-based movies to review, there are always plenty great old ones to rediscover. This is one that I had somehow missed but recently was pleased to pick up. It was made in 1965 and stars James Garner, Rod Taylor and Eva Marie Saint. Shot in black and white, it has a nice period feel to it.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it involves a German plot to kidnap U.S.  Army major, Jeff Pike (Garner,) and fool him into thinking that the war is over, so he will reveal the Allied plans for D-Day. I’m not giving anything away, because this is revealed in the first 20 minutes or so of the film. The dramatic tension is created by the question of whether Pike will figure out what is going on and what will happen if he does. It is a tight, suspenseful story with some interesting twists and is well-acted by a strong cast. Garner is at the top of his game and Taylor’s German doctor is a suprisingly complex character. Interestingly enough, John Banner (I know nothiiiinnnng!) shows up in a small, but important role as a Volkssturm gruppenfuehrer which is quite reminescent of his Sgt. Shultz character.

I really liked this film. I think that Jim Garner kind of gets overlooked in conversations about dramatic actors these days, but he always gives solid, understated roles that never fail to deliver. (I just watched him again  in The Great Escape this weekend and he still manages not to get lost in a very stellar cast.) You may want to pick this one up.

Comments (1)

Bill Donegan

February 9th, 2010 at 6:43 am    


Na Ja, it was this movie which gave me the idea of combining a chaplain impression with the Volkssturm as the John Banner caracter did in the movie.

Hellmut Heudtlass, Feldpfarrer, und Gruppenfuhrer, KLVS.

Lobe dem Herrn mit Freiheit und Leben!

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