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DANA ANDREWS AND GENE TIERNEY DEFECT IN 'THE IRON CURTAIN'

YEAR of Release: 1948 Rates: ***1/2
Wedged between the famous Otto Preminger Film Noir LAURA and WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS and almost a decade past TOBACCO ROAD is the sublime pair-up of Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney under the direction of William A. Wellman in a Cold War Thriller at the rudimentary stages of that very thing: the movie takes place during and right after WWII and was released only three years after the war ended...

Based on the true story of "Soviet cypher-clerk Igor Gouzenko who was posted to the Soviet Embassy in Ottawa, Canada in 1943... to reveal the extent of Soviet espionage activities directed against Canada," Dana Andrews takes a sort of reverse risk since nothing's worse than an American actor caught doing a bad-hammy foreign accent, especially one as thick as Russian... And so, Dana basically speaks exactly like Dana. Meanwhile, Tierney slips in a very subtle accent and either way, both do a good enough job, making an otherwise passable programmer worth viewing: Although the real scene-stealer is Texas-born Berry Kroeger as "Paul," taking that risk and succeeding with flying colors, seeming and sounding like a Russian Orson Welles type of classy, distinguished yet nefarious thug with a scowl that's genuine, menacing and lethal...

Dana Andrews in The Iron Curtain
He's the person to fear, for both the audience and our hero, eventually defecting with information about Soviet spies. "Paul" also keeps a narrowed eye on those spies who might have lost their love of communism. Berry's scenes without either Dana or Gene are beyond-effective, and provide a dark Noirish vibe when needed – as does the initial setup concerning Andrews when Russian Femme Fatale-like secretary June Havoc tests his loyalty with vodka, seduction.

The suspense that's supposed to occur as Andrews and Tierney, with their newborn baby in her arms and secret documents stuffed into his clothing, just isn't really there as he tries locating any form of authority willing to listen to what seems like a nutcase conspiracy involving the Russian Embassy. Before that, Igor's transition is much too quick and easy; after listening to quirky and vulnerable comrade Eduard Franz's drunken speech against their country, he's converted as a loyal Canadian with defecting on the brain (his avoiding CANYON PASSAGE banker Peter Whitney as the embassy guard). During his most effect scenes, Dana remains the most square-jawed as a true Russian who believes in something that we, and not yet he, know will eventually change.
Dana Andrews wreaking June Havoc in The Iron Curtain
A crying baby can be annoying but here it's borderline deadly as Dana's Igor intensely shows his "Shhhh" face
A brooding, worried young wife/new mother Gene Tierney with Dana Andrews for the third time, a great pair
Dana Andrews faces Peter Whitney with ass clown Stalin pictured in the center: a dictator Hollywood tends to ignore
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
Berry Kroeger brings to Noir Thriller out in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN with June Havoc
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN with June Havoc
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN with Gene Tierney
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN with Gene Tierney
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
June Havoc with Eduard Franz in THE IRON CURTAIN
June Havoc with Eduard Franz in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN with Fox Movie Channel Marking
Peter Whitney in THE IRON CURTAIN with Fox Movie Channel Marking
Berry Kroeger as Paul in THE IRON CURTAIN
Berry Kroeger brings to Noir Thriller out in THE IRON CURTAIN
Dana Andrews in THE IRON CURTAIN with Gene Tierney
June Havoc causing flirtatious havoc in THE IRON CURTAIN

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