Sunday, March 6, 2011

Eight Witnesses (1954)

The movie is sold with the premise that a murder occurs in front of eight witnesses but all of them are blind, however this is not really a murder mystery rather its an espionage thriller, and a damn good one at that.

The plot of this Cold War movie is that a scientist with knowledge of a secret formula escapes to the West from a "Soviet" lab. He calls a British agent for a pick up but before that can happen he is spooked by two men waiting to use a pay phone and runs off. He flees to where his daughter works, a library for the blind. However before she can go off with him, he is killed in front of several blind witnesses. The film film then becomes a quest to catch the killer and to recover some papers that he was carrying.

This is not a real murder mystery. We know who the killer is from the outset, the real question is who will get the papers that have been hidden in the library. Its a tense little movie that is unremarkable in most ways except that it is highly entertaining. You really do wonder what is going to happen to our hero (the British agent) and heroine (the scientist's daughter). Will the romance, begun by the agent as a means of keeping tabs on the girl, survive the strain of the chase? You probably know the answers already, but you'll still watch this all the way to the end to find out because the little twists of plot and German scenery make this something above the normal run of the mill.

I really liked this movie. It took a shop worn tale and dressed it up nicely and made itself into a small little guilty pleasure.

Definitely worth looking for, especially on the budget priced DVD that Alpha Video has put out.

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