1940. Captain Terence Stevenson with the British Army is part of the bomb disposal unit in London, his primary job to defuse them. Despite having no experience as a spy, he is asked by his ...
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Andrew Manson (Robert Donat), a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his ... See full summary »
1940. Captain Terence Stevenson with the British Army is part of the bomb disposal unit in London, his primary job to defuse them. Despite having no experience as a spy, he is asked by his superiors, because of his academic background as a chemical engineer and being fluent in Romanian and German, to lead a spy mission deep in Nazi occupied territory. The Nazis have near perfected a formula for a new poisonous gas to use in chemical warfare, his mission to infiltrate the gas plant near Pilsen in Czechoslovakia where it is being mass produced, steal the formula to bring back to Britain, and blow up the plant before the Nazis are able to distribute the gas for their war effort. He is to assume the identity of chemical engineer Jan Tartu of the Romanian Iron Guard, the real Tartu who the Nazis are unaware has been killed. To carry out his mission, Stevenson will require the assistance of the underground in Czechoslovakia, he given the name of a contact through which he is to work. ...Written by
This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Wednesday 16 January 1957 on KTTV (Channel 2); it first aired in Philadelphia 10 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New Haven CT 17 March 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Chicago 28 March 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Minneapolis 22 April 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), in Norfolk VA 23 May 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), in Seattle 2 June 1957 on KING (Channel 5), and in Altoona PA 30 June 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10); it was first shown in New York City 18 April 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2) and in San Francisco 10 September 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). See more »
When Maruschka is consoling Paula (after Paula had killed a German officer earlier in the day), Paula says, "But Karl got his revenge today, because I had Karl's own revolver...." In an earlier scene, however, Paula was hiding a semiautomatic pistol (presumably the murder weapon) and not a revolver. See more »
American version completely re-edited with some voiceover and numerous scene changes. Notable was the elimination of the scene where Robert Donat visits his mother (played by Mabel Terry-Lewis) right after he receives his assignment. As it was her only scene, she did not appear in the American version. See more »
better than expected, but falls short of a classic
"The Adventures of Tartu" has a fine opening scene, quickly establishing Robert Donat as a cool and collected expert in defusing bomb which hadn't exploded in one of the Nazi's blitzes of London. The scenes which follow are a bit erratic. Donat's acting is always superb, but the dialog and situations which he has been given generally do not build suspense or audience sympathy. There are fleetingly good lines and occasionally good moments, but the opening and the finale are the finest parts of the film---it would seem that these were the most concentrated upon by the filmmakers, with the centre section being somewhat secondary.
The closing scenario and its seemingly expansive set anticipate that of "Dr. No" and many subsequent Bond films. Donat essayed a similar role in "Knight Without Armour" (1937) in which he was a British spy posing as a Russian revolutionary during and after WWI, but that film was far superior on every level to this one. Still, any film with Donat is interesting at the very least, and "Tartu" is fairly good.
Thus far (as of 2013) a very clear print of this motion picture hasn't surfaced, but perhaps Criterion will restore/release one in the future, should the British Film Institute or some such other organisation have a good transfer from the original negative on hand.
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