Torn Curtain

Synopsis: Professor Michael Armstrong is heading to Copenhagen to attend a physics conference accompanied by his assistant-fiancée Sarah Sherman. Once arrived however, Michael informs her that he may be staying for awhile and she should return home. She follows him and realizes he's actually heading to East Germany, behind the Iron Curtain. She follows him there and is shocked when he announces that he's defecting to the East after the US government canceled his research project. In fact, Michael is there to obtain information from a renowned East German scientist. Once the information is obtained, he and Sarah now have to make their way back to the West.
Genre: Thriller
Director(s): Alfred Hitchcock
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
  2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
128 min

Are they ever

going to get the heating fixed?

They are working at it, Professor.

Perhaps some of you scientists

would like to give us a helping hand.

What are we going to do about lunch?

We haven't had breakfast yet.


We'll call this lunch

and go upstairs for breakfast.

Against all the evidence, Michael,

I'd say you had a very unscientific mind.

I'm not a scientist, I'm a teacher.

You're a scientist,

and you're supposed to respect

a natural order in all things.

Breakfast comes before lunch. Ow!


And marriage should come

before a honeymoon cruise.

You're on the wrong boat.


Now, stop. This is supposed to be

a serious congress of physicists.

Tell me, Miss Sherman,

what is your position on antideuterons?

Now, listen here,

what's your position on a July wedding?

Oh... July,

August, September or October.

Don't let me hurry you.

I just don't want to be the only

common-law wife on campus.

Forget the campus.

Oh, will you stop brooding?

I like to brood.

Look, I wish you'd get that

teaching job in perspective.

I know it's not what you want, but honestly -

Oh, no!

I'm greatly honoured. It's a unique distinction.

Enough. Will you stop it?

No, it's true.

It's an unparalleled appointment

in the history of American science.

- Oh, stop it.

- No!

Most scientists just start out teaching,

end up in Washington.

But Wrong-Way Armstrong

starts in Washington and he ends up teaching.

- No, our agreement, remember?

- What?

You weren't going to

blast off about Washington,

and I wasn't gonna ask you again

why you didn't want me

to come on this trip.

- OK?

- Yeah.

- Professor Armstrong?

- Just a minute.

- Yes?

- A radiogram, sir.

- I'm sorry. This isn't for me.

- But, sir, if you please -

No, I'm sorry. It must be a mistake.

You're freezing.

Well, what shall we have for

breakfast-lunch or lunch-breakfast?

Let's see, uh... corn flakes, soup.

Hello, Michael. Glad that heat's on again.

I'll say.

Good evening. I'm Michael Armstrong.

A radiogram arrived earlier for me.

May I have another look at it, please?

Yes, sir. One moment.

- Hello.

- Oh, Professor.

Did you perhaps see Miss Sherman?

I was supposed to have with her

a luncheon date.

Maybe she had forgotten.

Well, I believe she had a cold.

Stayed in bed.

A cold? Aw, that's too bad.

Here you are, sir.

Oh, thank you.

Well, I think she's up by now.

Why don't you look in the lounge?


Well, uh... I couldn't

have been awake this morning.

I'd like to send an answer.

- Please, sir.

- Thank you.

Darling, we've got connecting rooms.

That's Scandinavian efficiency.

Shall I unpack for you?

I'd rather do it myself.



No, I'm afraid he's busy right now.

This is Miss Sherman, his assistant, speaking.

May I take a message?

Oh, just one moment, please.

Michael, it's some bookshop for you.

Tell them I'll be there in a minute.

He'll be right here.


No, Operator. I was talking on this line.

Well, so much for your Scandinavian efficiency.

You've been cut off.

They said something about

sending you a radiogram.

Not me.

How much longer are you going to be?

Aren't we supposed to have lunch

with that Swedish professor, Hengstrom?

Yeah, at 1:

- Where?

- Here at the hotel.

Good, that gives us plenty of time.

What do you want to do?

Uh, look, I've gotta shave.

Why don't you take a stroll?


Oh, it's you again.

Yes, we were cut off.

I see. What's the address, please?

And that's where?

And then follow the canal?

Yes, thank you. We'll find it.

- Michael, I'm going for that stroll.

- See you in half an hour.

It seems you ordered a book.

I'll pick it up for you.

- What?

- The bookshop, I'm going there.

No, wait!

Oh, Miss Sherman.

Oh, good morning.

- You are better this morning?

- Better?

Our luncheon engagement yesterday

on the ship. You had a cold.

Oh, uh... Yes, much better, thank you.

Good. Then perhaps

we can have our lunch now.

Oh, uh, well, we have a date

with Professor Hengstrom.

- I'm awfully sorry.

- Yes, I too.

Look, at dinner tonight,

why don't you sit at our table?



Oh, could you tell me where

the Elmo Bookstore is, please?

- Taxi?

- Oh, no. I want this address.

Oh, Hotel d'Angleterre.

No, the address underneath.

It is quite near. We will go together.

You seem to like him very much.

Like him? Of course. We're engaged.

- Didn't you know?

- No.

We plan to be married in a couple of months.

Here we are.

What's the matter, Professor?

Don't you approve of marriage?

Of course I do.

Uh, do you have a book

for Professor Armstrong?

One moment.


Why didn't the professor come himself?

He's busy at the moment.

I'm his assistant, Miss Sherman.

I think we spoke on the phone.

Oh, yes. Will you come this way?

Excuse us.

Them religious books is in

a hell of a shambles, Magda.

Thank you. How much is that?

On account.

We charge it, see? Diners Club.

Take good care of it, dear heart.

It's a first edition, is that.

Thank you.

- Who is this Professor Armstrong?

- Didn't hear you, love.

Who is this Professor Armstrong?

- What have you got there?

- English Bibles.

Take them to the stockroom

and pray for him.

Thank you.

Oh, Professor Manfred,

you know Professor Hengstrom, don't you?

Swedish Academy of Science.

Of course. We met on the boat.

Oh, well, we'll see you at dinner, then.

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Brian Moore

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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