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Friday, January 28, 2011

Night Of The Generals (1967)

In 1942 Nazi occupied Poland, a prostitute is mutilated and murdered. The investigating officer (Omar Sharif) narrows down the investigation to three Generals (Peter O'Toole, Donald Pleasence, Charles Gray) but he is transferred to Paris before he can complete his investigation. In 1944 Nazi occupied Paris, all four men are once again simultaneously in the city at the same time and there is a second mutilation and murder of a prostitute. But it will take 20 years and two more killings before justice is done. Directed by Anatole Litvak (ANASTASIA) and produced by Sam Spiegel (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA), this sprawling thriller takes its time in unraveling its story which gives us not only time to know these characters but also allowing a subplot involving the plot to kill Hitler. It's a fascinating look into the psyche of the Aryan arrogance which formed the backbone of Nazism, chillingly personified by Peter O'Toole in peak form here. That great cinematographer Henri Decae makes excellent use of the Panavision screen and the overbaked score is by Maurice Jarre. The large and exceptional cast also includes Tom Courtenay, Philippe Noiret, Joanna Pettet, Christopher Plummer, Coral Browne, Harry Andrews, John Gregson, Veronique Vendell and Juliette Greco.

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