Istanbul

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A suspected diamond smuggler returns to Istanbul and finds the lady love he thought was dead…or does he?

ACTORS :  Errol Flynn, Cornell Borchers, John Bentley

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1957

POSTAGE : Free In Australia

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Description

Storyline

Adventurer James Brennan returns to Istanbul five years after being ejected under suspicion of diamond smuggling. In flashback, he recalls his last days there, his torrid love affair with Stephanie Bauer, the efforts of shady characters to obtain a strange ornament he received from a friend, and Stephanie’s disappearance during a fire. Now that Brennan is back, Stephanie (or her double) reappears, and there’s still the question of where the supposedly smuggled diamonds are…

Errol Flynn on a romantic nostalgia adventure in Istanbul.

 

This must seem like a very superficial second hand plagiarism of “Casablanca” to many, but there is actually much more to it than that, if you bother to look deeper into the story, another fascinating study in a case of amnesia with a lot of question marks, many of which you have to figure out for yourself.

Errol Flynn comes back to Istanbul after five years and remembers the turbulence of his last visit, in which he was involved in some diamond smuggling. He had a great and promising love affair, when everything was brutally interrupted by unforeseen circumstances, and he couldn’t come back for five years. On his return he meets again his great love, but she is another person, and he has some trouble in understanding the situation, especially since she is now happily married, or at least so it seems. There is very much in this intrigue of seeming appearances while much more isn’t easily told.

The superficial impression and unavoidable associations to “Casablanca” are especially exacerbated by Stephanie’s almost irritating likeness with Ingrid Bergman, but there is no Humphrey Bogart here. Instead you have an unusually sober Errol Flynn with almost a stone face, covering up stormy feelings with some difficulty, which must trouble him all the way. But the finale is a wonder of almost metaphysical turnings of a totally unexpected nature, and that’s where you have to complete the picture by your own thinking; because Errol Flynn’s sober face is never more stony than when he has given up all.

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