Torn Curtain

Watch Torn Curtain

"It tears you apart with suspense!"
  • PG
  • 1966
  • 2 hr 8 min
  • 6.6  (28,430)
  • 55

In Alfred Hitchcock's 1966 espionage thriller Torn Curtain, Paul Newman stars as American physicist Michael Armstrong, who is working on a top-secret government project with his fiancée and fellow scientist Sarah Sherman, played by Julie Andrews. The film takes place during the height of the Cold War, and when Armstrong receives an invitation to speak at a conference in East Germany, Sherman convinces him to defect and defect to the communist country, hoping to get access to information that could help the United States win the arms race.

But when Armstrong arrives in East Germany, he quickly realizes that he's in over his head. His contact in the country, a German professor named Lindt, is secretly working for the Communist Party and won't give him the information he needs. Meanwhile, Sherman has become increasingly worried for Armstrong's safety and decides to follow him to East Germany, only to find that he no longer wants to defect and is working on an escape plan.

As the two Americans try to outsmart their Soviet counterparts and flee the country, they find themselves in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the secret police. Along the way, they encounter a cast of memorable characters, including a sympathetic farmer's wife named Countess Kuchinska, played by Lila Kedrova, who helps them hide from the authorities.

Torn Curtain is notable for its gritty, realistic portrayal of espionage, with none of the glamour and romance that often accompanies the genre. Instead, Hitchcock presents a world of distrust and betrayal, where no one can be trusted and everyone has something to hide. The film is also notable for its use of location shooting in Germany, which adds an extra layer of authenticity to the story.

One of the film's standout scenes is a brutal fight sequence between Newman and an East German spy played by Wolfgang Kieling, which was choreographed by the legendary fight director, Michael Winner. The scene is a masterclass in suspense, with the two men engaging in a prolonged, bloody struggle that leaves the audience on the edge of their seats.

Newman and Andrews are both excellent in their respective roles, with Newman bringing a rugged, masculine energy to the part of Armstrong and Andrews proving herself to be much more than just the sugar-sweet singer from Mary Poppins. Her character of Sherman is smart, resourceful, and determined, and Andrews plays her with a quiet strength and dignity that makes her a believable and sympathetic protagonist.

Lila Kedrova is also excellent in her supporting role as the Countess, bringing a warmth and humanity to a character that could have easily been a one-note stereotype. Her scenes with Newman and Andrews provide a much-needed respite from the tension and danger that permeates the rest of the film.

Overall, Torn Curtain is a tense and thrilling Cold War spy drama that showcases Hitchcock's skill as a master of suspense. With its realistic portrayal of espionage and its strong performances from Newman and Andrews, it remains a classic of the genre and a must-see for fans of Hitchcock and spy thrillers alike.

Torn Curtain is a 1966 drama with a runtime of 2 hours and 8 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 55.

Torn Curtain
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 8 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (28,430)
  • Metascore