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      Contraband

      Released May 11, 1940 1h 31m War Crime Drama Romance List
      100% Tomatometer 6 Reviews 67% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings A ship's captain gets caught up in a German spy ring when he follows two people who stole his shore passes. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (6) Critics Reviews
      Wesley Morris Boston Globe Rated: 2.5/4 Jan 13, 2012 Full Review MFB Critics Monthly Film Bulletin This exciting story is dramatically put over and excellently directed. Jan 29, 2018 Full Review Fernando F. Croce CinePassion The story traces the gradual erosion of the Dane's neutrality in the face of menace, but Powell's freewheeling camera can't be stilled by patriotic piety Nov 17, 2009 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 3/5 Jul 5, 2005 Full Review Dan Lybarger Nitrate Online A first-rate, cleverly photographed WWII thriller from the great pair of Powell and Pressburger. Rated: 5/5 Nov 5, 2003 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews It was strange to see Veidt in a romantic hero role. Rated: B- Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (19) audience reviews
      bill t Maybe it's just me, but I couldn't finish it because it was so dull. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Another early film from Michael Powell, scripted by Emeric Pressburger and starring Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson, following on from the group's earlier The Spy in Black (1939). Again, in a sort of Hitchcockian vein, we find ourselves following Veidt who is the captain of a neutral Danish ship that is halted and examined for contraband by the Brits on its way back from America. While docked, two passengers steal the Captain's courtesy landing passes and escape to London - one of them is Hobson. With his interest piqued, Veidt follows and soon they are both ensnared by the Nazis (and it is refreshing that Veidt is not playing one of them). Things become comic when the staff of a Danish restaurant (headed by Hay Petrie) are called upon to help. With his usual flair for the lyrical moment, Michael Powell elevates this spy thriller into something more deeply enjoyable than the usual run-of-the-mill thriller and Veidt is excellent in a fun role. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Highly implausible and highly enjoyable. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member "Contraband" (1940) was the second Powell-Pressburger collaboration, after 1939's "The Spy in Black". It is one of their lighter films, with a slight wartime propaganda element. It stars Conrad Veidt as a Danish captain of a ship moored near London and Valerie Hobson as a passenger, an impudent young minx who steals a shore pass and rows ashore, where Veidt follows to bring her back, but when he finds her it turns out that Hobson is in fact on His Majesty's Secret Service and being pursued by some German secret agents. There's good chemistry between Veidt and Hobson, even though he's twice her age (almost literally- he was 47 and she was 23). Veidt is a commanding and charismatic presence and Hobson gives one of her freshest and most spirited performances, and is by no means difficult on the eye. Powell had worked with Hitchcock and this is a fast-paced suspense movie in the mould of Hitch films like "The 39 Steps." Lots of good bantering dialogue between the two leads and a comedic element thrown in. The propaganda element is not very pronounced, and the mood is surprisingly light. All in all, a very enjoyable way to pass an hour and a half. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Audience Member Rather disingenuous of Kino to slip this title (also known as Blackout) into a "Film Noir" box set. It was made a couple years before what most people consider the beginning of the "noir cycle", it's British, and it's only the slightest bit noir. But it is Powell & Pressburger, and it looked fun, so I didn't mind putting it in the player. And it was fun. P&P reunite Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson from The Spy in Black for another wartime espionage thriller. This one has more of a comic edge to it, though, and feels quite a lot like 39 Steps era Hitchcock. Veidt and Hobson play off each other very well, with a lively antagonistic chemistry. Some fine character actors as well, like Hay Petrie (a dead ringer for Claude Rains) in an amusing dual role. The finale has a marvelous touch... a storeroom of plaster busts makes a terrific place for a shootout. Very enjoyable. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 01/17/23 Full Review Audience Member well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch...its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie...i think that conrad veidt, hay petrie, valerie hobson play good roles/parts throughout this movie,....i think that the director of this classics/drama/war movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie...i think that this is a really powerful drama movie 2 watch because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie i think that this is just a powerful drama movie 2 watch with a good cast throughout this movie Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A ship's captain gets caught up in a German spy ring when he follows two people who stole his shore passes.
      Director
      Michael Powell
      Producer
      John Corfield
      Screenwriter
      Michael Powell
      Production Co
      British National Films Ltd.
      Genre
      War, Crime, Drama, Romance
      Original Language
      English (United Kingdom)
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 11, 1940, Original
      Rerelease Date (Theaters)
      Nov 29, 1940
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Jan 25, 2017
      Runtime
      1h 31m