Monday, January 03, 2022

Tonight's Movie: Deported (1950) - A Kino Lorber Blu-ray Review

Jeff Chandler fans have reason to celebrate, as Kino Lorber has recently released two of his hard-to-find films on Blu-ray.

BECAUSE OF YOU (1952), costarring Loretta Young, just came out in the Dark Side of Cinema V collection and will be reviewed here at a future date.

Kino Lorber has also released DEPORTED (1950), directed by one of the masters of film noir, Robert Siodmak. DEPORTED was filmed on location in Italy by William Daniels, who had recently won the Oscar for filming the crime procedural THE NAKED CITY (1948) in New York City.

Chandler plays Vic Smith, aka Vittorio Sparducci, who's deported from the U.S. to Italy after serving five years in Sing Sing for grand theft. The $100,000 he stole was never located.

Vic is embraced by his uncle (Silvio Minciotti) and aunt (Mimi Aguglia), who have no idea he was deported and believe he's a U.S. government employee. Vic is watched from a distance by a parole officer (Claude Dauphin) and seems to stay on the straight and narrow, particularly as he begins to fall for a lovely widowed countess (Marta Toren, ASSIGNMENT - PARIS).

The countess devotes herself to helping the local people, many of whom are struggling for survival in the postwar economy. Vic gets an idea regarding how he can claim the 100 grand he stashed, which involves buying food to donate to the townspeople, only to have it "hijacked" and sold on the black market, but his conscience begins to get the better of him...

The man with a past reformed by the love of a good woman is always a favorite plot device, in films such as ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1947), BLOOD ON THE MOON (1948), and more, and the theme works equally well translated to postwar Italy.

While the overall concept is familiar, the setting is unique and compelling; in addition to the extensive location filming, the movie is elevated by Chandler's magnetic star power. I also found Toren to be a sweet, lovely leading lady who is believably angelic. I was saddened to learn that, like Chandler, Toren died far too young; Toren died in 1957 and Chandler in 1961.

The film also features a flashy performance by Marina Berti as the lover of Vic's former associate (Richard Rober), and Dauphin is genial as the lawman keeping tabs on Vic.

DEPORTED may not be a top-drawer film, but it's a solid middle-of-the-road drama which kept me absorbed for all of its 89 minutes despite the fact that the storytelling at times could have been more energetic.

The Kino Lorber Blu-ray is in fine shape. There were some very faint speckles early on, and I also noticed an odd but very quick jump at one point, but for the most part the print looked very good, with a fine soundtrack.

Extras on the Blu-ray disc consist of a commentary track by Eddy Von Mueller and half a dozen trailers for other films available from Kino Lorber.

Thanks to Kino Lorber for providing a review copy of this Blu-ray.


Blogger Margot Shelby said...

Until now I've somehow missed this movie. Agree about Chandler. Very underrated, and an extremely attractive man.

6:06 PM  
Blogger barrylane said...

Add Richard Rober to the Deorted cast dying young.

10:34 PM  
Blogger Jerry Entract said...

"DEPORTED"is somewhat 'low-key' Siodmak but still very worth seeing. As you say, Laura, the redemption story is appealing and told in the unusual (for the time) locations I find it an enjoyable watch.
Jeff Chandler is excellent, as he usually was, and Marta Toren is very beautiful but a fine actress also. I have seen her in a number of films from those years and she never disappoints.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Barrylane, I didn't realize that about Richard Rober. What a shame. By chance he's turned up in another film I'm watching this week, JET PILOT, which he filmed around the same time as DEPORTED (1949-50) -- but which wasn't released until 1957, a full half a decade after his untimely 1952 passing. I didn't recognize Rober in this but looking at his credits realize I've seen him in a number of other movies.

Margot, I share your admiration for Chandler. Always like him and his films.

Jerry, glad to know you've been able to see this also and that you enjoyed it. It's one I'll come back to at some point.

Best wishes,

10:54 PM  

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