GUILTY OF TREASON (director: Felix Feist; screenwriter: Emmett Lavery/story by Emmett/from the book “As We See Russia” by /The Overseas Press Club/Joszef Cardinal Mindszenty’s personal papers; cinematographer: John Russell; editor: Walter Thompson; music: Emil Newman/Hugo Friedhofer; cast: Richard Derr (Soviet Col. Aleksandr Melnikov), Charles Bickford (Joszef Cardinal Mindszenty), Bonita Granville (Stephanie Varna), Paul Kelly (Tom Kelly), Berry Kroeger (Hungarian State Police Col. Timar), John Banner (Dr. Szandor Deste); Runtime: 86; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Robert Golden/Jack Wrather; Eagle-Lion Films; 1950)
“Effective in showing the paranoia of the times.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Felix Feist (“Donovan’s Brain”/”The Big Trees”/”The Basketball Fix”) directs this sobering anti-communist and anti-soviet propaganda film about the Hungarian Roman Catholic cardinal, Joszef Mindszenty (Charles Bickford). The outspoken Mindszenty complained about the Nazi occupation and later the post-war Communist rule. He was arrested and tortured by the Soviets, who under duress got him to confess to the false charges of treason. He became a symbol for Hungarian freedom when after his release he took refuge in the American Embassy in Budapest and remained there for years until the end of the Soviet occupation.
Cheaply done film, with poor production values. It also over moralizes and veers off the path of reality to shoot for thrills. But is effective in showing the paranoia of the times.
Bonita Granville plays a young Hungarian teacher who makes a public moral stand against Communism despite her love for a Russian officer.
REVIEWED ON 5/17/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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