Monday, April 12, 2010

The fairer sex plays the dirtiest game

I continue to mark the well-deserved ass-kicking Nazi Germany received 65 years ago.

Miss V From Moscow (1942)
Starring: Lola Lane, John Vosper, Howard Banks, William Vaughn, Kathryn Sheldon, Paul Weigel and Noel Madison
Director: Albert Herman
Rating: Five of Ten Stars

When a top female Nazi spy is killed by the Allies, a Russian agent that bears a striking resemblance to her (Lane) is sent to Paris to infiltrate the Nazi intelligence apparatus. But when she draws the attentions of a love-struck Wehrmacht colonel (Vosper), an over-sexed downed American bomber pilot (Banks) and the suspicions of Gestapo operatives (Sheldon and Madison), her mission and very life are placed in jeopardy.

"Miss V From Moscow" is a fun little spy movie where many chuckles will be had at the interchanges between the beautiful Russian spy who is passing herself off as one of Hitler's favorite agents, and the German Army Colonel who is smitten with her, partly because of her beauty but mostly because of her connection with his beloved Fuhrer.

One scene is both hilarious and chilling, when Miss V and Colonel Heinrick attend a speech by Hitler. Heinrick is so enraptured during that scen that one keeps expecting him to throw his underwear at the stage, or perhaps even faint after squeeling like a school girl, but he is also not really listening to what Hitler is saying. The scene would perhaps be even funnier if it wasn't for the fact that it is probably an accurate portrayal of how much of the German people reacted to Hitler.

For the most part, though, the humor arises from the Russian agent using double-entrendres to respond to Heinrick whenever he prasies Hitler--giving what to Heinrick sounds like equally adoring and loving comments.

Aside from Lola Lane and John Vosper, no one really stands out. The rest of the cast are decent enough but they are playing as part of the background, not rising above the supporting roles that they play. (Howard Banks is extremely annoying as the "dashing airman", but I blame 1940s cinematic tropes more than I blame the actor for this; he's basically filling the role of "wise-cracking trouble-maker" that would be a reporter or a private detective if this wasn't a movie about a lady spy.)

This is a fun, fluffy flick if you have a taste for old-time low budget movies, but it's not worth going out of your way for. It's not bad, but it's also not especially good.

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