In a suspense thriller set during the days of the Cold War, director Reed mines territory gone over already in THE THIRD MAN but changes the locale to Berlin. Bloom, a British miss, arrives in Berlin to holiday with her doctor brother, Toone, and his wife, Neff, a German national. Neff is
tailed by young Krause (who follows her on a bicycle) and is threatened on the phone. Neff and Bloom take a short day trip to East Berlin where they meet Mason, a onetime attorney who now deals in black market items as well as lures people across the line into the Eastern sector for the
communists. Neff balks when Bloom decides to go ice skating with Mason. Bloom invites Mason to come to Toone's home for dinner. Later, Neff admits that she had once been married to Mason, a good man until Nazism made him a cynic. Neff has thought Mason died during the war, but, since he's alive,
she's a bigamist. Mason is using that to get Neff to help lure Schroeder back to the waiting guns of the communists. Toone informs the West German police of Mason's plan, and a trap is set that is ruined when Krause tells Mason about it. Bloom is kidnaped by the East Germans who think she is Neff.
Mason is struck by Bloom's naive ways and her belief that he can be saved from himself, so he aids her escape. A chase begins that takes them across rooftops and on a drive through various sections of the city. They are about to escape successfully when Mason, believing there is no way out, jumps
from the vehicle and is gunned down by the police as the van crosses the border to freedom. Stark, dingy, and dark, THE MAN BETWEEN never really catches fire: it's hard to picture the craggy Mason and the radiant Bloom as potential lovers. The depressing background of Berlin must have kept many
people from telling their travel agents that they wanted to go there on vacation. Lots of atmosphere, but virtually no appeal to the emotions, which makes it similar to a latter-day film that covered some of the same ground, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: In a suspense thriller set during the days of the Cold War, director Reed mines territory gone over already in THE THIRD MAN but changes the locale to Berlin. Bloom, a British miss, arrives in Berlin to holiday with her doctor brother, Toone, and his wife,… (more)