Format: TCM on DVR
Director: Elia Kazan
I'm somewhat shocked I'd never heard of this movie before. But, that's what TCM is all about - pulling out movies from the library and saying "here you go. This one's solid. Folks used to know how to make a movie, huh?"
Brought to TCM on a night in which Dana Delaney co-hosted (with Eddie Muller) a slate of films featuring screen legend Gloria Grahame, Delaney came ready to talk.
Look - I have some mixed feelings on this one. It's a terrific movie. I believe in the conceit of the film, and I think Muller explained it as well as you could, so I'm in a hard-agree mode. As much as I generally agree that Kazan is an amazing director, the guy named names during HUAC that did a lot of damage.
So, when a movie is about the iron grip of post WWII Soviet-style governance in Czechoslovakia, and how it pushes an a-political head of a circus to consider his options... well, I tend to agree with anyone who wasn't a fan of Stalinism or the authoritarian/ police-state governance employed in Eastern Europe. This movie could easily spin up a TL;DR post or a full college thesis, but... I'll be merciful.