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Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, The Journey (1959)

This review was published and revised by me on IMDb.

“The Journey” is a very good film, maybe one of the best movies of the 1950s and certainly one of my top 5 favourites. Produced by ALBY Pictures (a company made by Yul Brynner together with director and producer Anatole Litvak) in the spring of 1958, in Vienna, and released in 1959, this movie was quite popular in his early years. Despite the political problems, which influenced the movie’s success (because the story happens during the Hungarian Revolution, the Cold War), “The Journey” still remains a very good piece of entertainment. Now I am happy to know that it was released by Warner Bros. on DVD, because most of the people who had seen it have longed to own it. The story reveals the problems of a group of travellers from all over the world who are trapped in Budapest during the Hungarian Revolution from 1956. Among them is a very distinguished baroness, who catches the attention of a local Soviet officer. What he doesn’t initially know is that the lady is going through a divorce and she intends to marry her former lover, a Hungarian citizen who is trying to escape from his native country with a fake passport. The situation gets complicated when Major Surov discovers their plan and obliges Lady Ashmore to remain by his side (even arrested!), owing to his great passion for her. One of the most important qualities of the film is the extraordinary chemistry between Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner, their intense relationship. All their scenes together are very important, but they also reveal the strong feelings, the great passion and love between the characters (Major Surov and Diana Ashmore). Another asset is the script, which is very well written. It was even published as a novel, by the screen player George Tabori. The film keeps its tension from the beginning to the end. At first, we didn’t know if Diana and the other travelers could leave Hungary, because the Communist Major discovers that Diana’s friend, Paul Kedes, is Hungarian and he isn’t allowed to leave the country. The Major falls deeply in love with Diana and this is, in fact, the true reason why he doesn’t want to let her go away. But after he embraces her and gives her one of the most memorable kisses ever seen on screen, he sets free both Diana and her lover. And the end of the film is one of the most dramatic endings ever filmed – the Major and Diana say “Goodbye!”, knowing they will never see each other again. As she arrives at the frontier with all the travellers, including Paul, Surov is shot to death several times by a group of Hungarians (one of them being played by the beautiful Anouk Aimee). Yul Brynner is very handsome and Deborah Kerr is very beautiful, charming, refined, just like an English lady. Yul and Deborah are perfect together. They are one of the greatest couples of the Golden Hollywood. A true movie goer should watch this film. “The Journey” has everything that a good film should have-a great, captivating story, interesting characters, a wonderful direction (Anatole Litvak is, in my opinion, at his best).

Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, The Journey (1959)

Several years ago I uploaded the entire movie on YouTube (and so my channel became very popular), but owing to the copyright problem I was forced to delete it later…