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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

A still from This Can't Happen Here (1950)

This Can't Happen Here

1950 | Sweden | 84 min
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  • Watched on Mon Mar 15, 2021 via YouTube
    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Director Ingmar Bergman disowned this clumsy spy thriller, preventing a proper home video release, and forcing me to watch it on YouTube. Good thing. I would have regretted spending money on this turkey.

    The jumbled plot concerns a spy from the fictional dictatorship of Liquidatzia who arrives in Sweden hoping to sell information to the Americans and defect. Before he can contact them, he reconnects with his estranged ex-wife. She wants him to smuggle her parents out of Liquidatzia. When he refuses, she tries to kill him.

    This puts her at odds with her love interest, the local police inspector, who tries to help her. Said inspector proves an awful policeman, however, losing his gun twice while interrogating a suspect.

    This nonsense culminates in an improbable finale (how did the inspector hear the ship’s name?), replete with a car chase, where Bergman aims for Hitchcock thrills but musters pastiche.

    This uninspired paycheck-gig may prove worth watching for creatives. Seeing a master like Bergman stumble can offer solace. A man’s got to know his limitations.

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