WE WERE STRANGERS
B&W, 88 min.
Released: April 27, 1949 (Columbia)
Cast: Jennifer Jones (as China Valdez), John Garfield, Pedro Armendariz, Gilbert Roland, Ramon Novarro.
Director: John Huston
Producer: Sam Spiegel, Jules Buck
Tagline: "An explosive story of violent lives...lived dangerously!"
Complete Credits at IMDB
When her brother is gunned down by Cuban authorities, China Valdez vows to avenge his death. She joins a resistance group who plan to assassinate the Cuban President and his dignitaries.
John Huston and Peter Viertel adapted their screenplay on the Robert Sylvester novel Rough Sketch. It was an unlikely film subject for the time and most critics and viewers were completely perplexed by it. Seen today, it holds up quite well and serves as an excellent action/suspense film. Although it was an unusual role for Jennifer, she does a decent job at perfecting a Cuban accent.
The film almost has a surrealistic quality and it convincingly depicts a grim atmosphere and characters whose motivations are guided by desperation. The best sequences come towards the end of the film as the resistance group race against the clock to dig an underground tunnel and the final scene which is an action packed shoot out sequence.
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