Top Secret Affair

Top Secret Affair

Director: H.C. Potter

Cast: H.C. Potter, Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Paul Stewart

     
 
When an Army general is appointed to the sensitive diplomatic post that the powerful publisher of a prominent news magazine had hoped would go to a particularly qualified civilian, she launches a vitriolic campaign to discredit the general. First the publisher orders one of her cameraman to snap a few incriminating photographs of the general. In order to get them, she

Overview

When an Army general is appointed to the sensitive diplomatic post that the powerful publisher of a prominent news magazine had hoped would go to a particularly qualified civilian, she launches a vitriolic campaign to discredit the general. First the publisher orders one of her cameraman to snap a few incriminating photographs of the general. In order to get them, she invites the general out for a night on the town. No matter how hard she tries to get him drunk, the general remains sober. Unfortunately, she ends up quiet tipsy and falls in a pool where she nearly drowns until the general rescues her. The sodden but grateful publisher kisses him and it is at that point that they realize that animosity is rapidly turning to love, at least for her. When she discovers that her newborn love is fated to remain unrequited because of things from the general's past, the jealous publisher pens a poisonous article about him. This creates all kinds comical obstacles and further misunderstandings.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Perhaps Top Secret Affair would have been a better film if the writers hadn't totally thrown out the original source material (a book by John Marquand); it certainly would have been better had the stars for whom the material was originally tailored (Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall) been able to do it. Unfortunately, their replacements -- the undeniably talented Kirk Douglas and Susan Hayward -- are simply not an ideal cast, and director H.C. Potter doesn't seem to know how to mold their performances to make up for this. Thus, Hayward's performance too often crosses the border into shrillness and shrewishness rather than staying simply determined and competitive, and Douglas simply doesn't know how to wrap his tongue around phrases that require Bogart's delivery. The problems don't become apparent right away, so the film starts off well, but by midpoint, it's begun drooping. Still, the basic premise of the film has some entertainment value, and the stars do have moments -- individually and together -- that give them the chance to demonstrate their considerable abilities. There's also solid support from the amusing Jim Backus and an impressive turn from Paul Stewart, who clearly understands how to play this kind of material. Top Secret Affair is far from top-drawer, but devoted fans of the stars may want to catch it to see them in a change-of-pace environment.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/06/2009
UPC:
0883316211380
Original Release:
1957
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:40:00
Sales rank:
38,667

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Susan Hayward Dorothy "Dottie" Peale
Kirk Douglas Maj. Gen. Melville Goodwin
Paul Stewart Phil Bentley
Jim Backus Col. Homer W. Gooch
John Cromwell Gen. Bradshaw
Roland Winters Senator Burdick
Arthur E. Gould-Porter Butler
Michael Fox Lotzie
Frank Gerstle Sgt. Kruger
Charles Lane Bill Hadley
Franco Corsaro Armande
Richard H. Cutting Reporter
Hal K. Dawson Actor
James Flavin Man
Patti Gallagher Girl
Jonathan Hale Mr. Jones
Edna Holland Myrna Maynard
Hugh Lawrence Actor
Charles Meredith Personage
Lyn Osborn Stumpy
Ivan Triesault German Field Marshal
Sydney Chatton Drunk at Table

Technical Credits
H.C. Potter Director
Gordon Bau Makeup
Malcolm C. Bert Art Director
Folmar Blangsted Editor
Stanley Cortez Cinematographer
Stan Jones Sound/Sound Designer
Roland Kibbee Screenwriter
Charles LeMaire Costumes/Costume Designer
Martin Rackin Producer
Russell Saunders Asst. Director
Allan Scott Screenwriter
Milton Sperling Producer
William Wallace Set Decoration/Design
Roy Webb Score Composer

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