Movie Review: Betrayed (1954)
“M-G-M filmed the mystery of the year in Holland!”
Director: Gottfried Reinhardt
Cast: Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Victor Mature
Synopsis: A Dutch Army office is rescued from the Nazis by the resistance, and becomes involved in the British attack on Arnhem.
Clark Gable (Saratoga, Gone With the Wind) is Colonel Pieter Deventer, an undercover army officer in Gottfried Reinhardt’s 1954 drama Betrayed. At the beginning of the film he’s taken prisoner and interrogated by Nazis until he is saved in a daring raid by resistance fighter Victor Mature (My Darling Clementine, The Robe), known to his mates as ‘The Scarf’ thanks to his penchant for colourful neckwear. The resistance spirit Deventer out of the country, but his escape comes at a cost – the lives of three prominent citizens who are executed in the town square in retribution. One of them is the husband of Carla Van Oven (Lana Turner – Cass Timberlane, The Prodigal) who later becomes a spy for the British army herself – or is she actually a Nazi double-agent? It’s interesting, the way the studios tailored vehicles for their ageing stars in such a way that gave them leading man status but called upon them to do very little. Gable was in his early fifties when he made this, and not ageing particularly well, so a still-hunky Victor Mature was called upon to perform the heroics. Gable even disappears from the film completely for a good 20 minutes or so at one point. And while Mature certainly has screen presence, his character has to be one of cinema’s most annoying for the first hour or so until he undergoes a pivotal change.
It has to be said that the story is as dull as the movie’s brown and green colour palette, which it shouldn’t be given the scope for intrigue provided by the storyline. On the plus side, the location photography of Holland provides a diverting backdrop, but the insistent carousel music seems completely inappropriate – even if the film is set in Holland.
(Reviewed 17th November 2011)