Intriguing Character Drama

Would you give your life to prevent the murder of 100 other people? What if you were about to be put to death for other reasons already? What if you were to single out someone else to be killed instead?

Errol Flynn is Jean Picard (not to be confused with a certain starship captain) and Paul Lukas is Inspector Bonet - one, a criminal and convicted murderer, the other, the man in charge of him. The story is set in occupied France, and the hundred doomed people are in the hands of the Germans, who are essentially ransoming them to find the saboteur who destroyed a critical train bridge.

The theme of moral relativism is treated with much respect, but never hits you over the head with it. Older movies often featured much tighter writing than modern film, though perhaps at a loss of some deeper exploration of the material. They've taken on some difficult material here, and done well with it.

The last line of the movie has an enduring power to it. I even hesitate to mention it here, for fear that setting up the expectation might get in the way of the appreciation. The whole film leads up to that delicate moment, one of the best last lines I have heard any time recently.

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