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CONSPIRACY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES: Istanbul

A brilliant cast. Nat King Cole was one of the best singers of his or any era. Cornell Borchers was the doppleganger of Ingrid Bergman right down to mannerisms and voice. Her eyes twinkle the same way as well. Errol Flynn was the classic male lead as always. A bygone era of love and intrigue for when you fall in love again. 


Istanbul is a 1957 American CinemaScope Technicolor film noir crime film directed by Joseph Pevney and starring Errol Flynn and Cornell Borchers. It is a remake of the film Singapore with the location of the action moved to Turkey. The plot involves an American pilot who becomes mixed up with various criminal activities in Istanbul.

Plot


For the first time in five years, pilot Jim Brennan (Errol Flynn) flies to Istanbul, Turkey, but is immediately brought to the office of customs Inspector R. P. Nural (John Bentley) who suspects him of diamond smuggling. Jim goes to the hotel where he stayed previously, but his old room has Americans Charlie (Leif Erickson) and Marge Boyle (Peggy Knudsen) staying there.


At the café, Jim sits at his regular table and recalls the last time he was there, sharing a drink with German tourist Stephanie Bauer (Cornell Borchers) a beauty with whom he falls in love. She knows he has to fly for a living, and encourages him to accept a quick job flying businessmen to Cairo. On his return, an old friend, merchant Aziz Rakim (Vladimir Sokoloff) offers Jim a bracelet to give to Stephanie but a hidden compartment contains diamonds, which Jim stashes in his ceiling fan.


When he proposes to Stephanie, he also gives her the bracelet. She accepts his proposal, but back at his room, the couple encounter Paul Renkov (Werner Klemperer) who is looking for the diamonds. The next night, Paul follows Jim and with several henchmen, beat him up. Mr. Darius (Martin Benson), their leader, demands the diamonds. The police find Jim, and at headquarters, Nural tells him that Aziz was murdered likely due to his role in a shipment of stolen diamonds smuggled in a bracelet. Jim denies involvement in the theft and later asks Stephanie to come with him that night to Paris.


At her hotel room, Darius' men accost Stephanie and steal the bracelet. Jim finds Nural in his room, and reveals that he has impounded his aircraft and plans to keep him in custody until Jim leaves the country. Knowing he cannot retrieve the diamonds, Jim and Nural go to Stephanie's hotel, but the building is in flames. Jim tries to save his fiance, but the blaze forces him to retreat.


Years later, Renkov finds Jim and tells him Darius wants to get his diamonds. Jim knows the married couple in his old room are in danger, and goes to the hotel, but is amazed to see Stephanie there. Claiming to be Karen Fielding, she leaves with her husband, Douglas Fielding (Torin Thatcher), the man who had saved her five years ago when her hotel had caught on fire. She had lost all of her earlier memories and does not recognize Jim.

Jim tries to press Stephanie about her past, but her husband asks him to leave them in peace. Later, clutching the bracelet Jim gave her, she secretly visits him at the café, trying to remember what he meant to her once. Jim attempts to retrieve the diamonds but is nearly caught by the inspector. He slips them into one of the Boyle's suitcases. Leaving the room he allows himself to be captured by Renkov and taken to an abandoned warehouse where Darius has already kidnapped Stephanie. Convincing Darius that she is the real thief, Jim slyly sets the warehouse ablaze.


Grabbing Stephanie who has gone into shock, he takes her back to her husband but the next morning as he prepares to fly out of Istanbul, Stephanie suddenly awakes and calls out Jim's name. Rushing to the airport, they see that Jim is caught with the diamonds although Nural decides to let him leave the country. As the aircraft takes off, her husband sees Stephanie's reaction and with the inspector's help, Jim is ordered to come back to Istanbul as someone wants to reunite with him.


Posted by George Freund on December 17, 2017 at 10:09 PM 244 Views