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The Moviegoer

AT the Exeter

By Peter K. Solmssen

The advertisements for "Odette," Britain's latest spy-thriller, claim that it is "more exciting because it's true." We are told at the beginning of the film that it tells the true story of Odetta Churchill and her activities in the British espionage service. The movie carries the endorsement of Mrs. Churchill and Colonel Maurice Buckmaster, her wartime commander. All this would indicate an exciting and unusual documentary on English espionage, but this is unfortunately not the case. Whether or not the story is based on fact makes little difference in the end. Nothing particularly original is added to the standard spy-movie formula, and the treatment is heavy-handed. Although the individual performances are good, the characters are presented completely without shading. The Germans are all psychopathic and incredibly brutal; the English and French, efficient and completely fearless. The dialogue is amusing in spots, but most of the time it drags. For example, when Captain Churchill and Odette meet in a German prison camp;

"Did you go through Hell too!"

"I went through Hell."

The plot is little more than a loosely-connected series of incidents. Truth may well be stranger than fiction, but, as "Odette" demonstrates, in the theatre it often appears less convincing.

Two shorts--"Hong Kong" and "More About Me"--complete the show at the Exeter. The former is a well-photographed travelogue, though it has a strong pro-British slant. "More About Me" is a very amusing five-minute affair. "written by George Bernard Shaw, directed by George Bernard Shaw, produced by George Bernard Shaw, and with a cast of George Bernard Shaw played by George Bernard Shaw." It affords Mr. Shaw an opportunity to "insult a wide audience and retain the pleasure of doing so himself, instead of hiring actors to do it for him,"

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