THE IRON CURTAIN
- it.: Il sipario di ferro; Sog.: tratto dagli articoli “I Was Inside Stalin’s Spy Ring” di Igor Gouzenko, pubblicati in Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan; Scen.: Milton Krims; F.: Charles G. Clarke; Mo.: Louis Loeffler; Scgf.: Lyle Wheeler, Mark-Lee Kirk; Cost.: Charles LeMaire, Bonnie Cashin; Mu. Dir.: Alfred Newman; Su.: Bernard Freericks, Harry M. Leo- nard; Int.: Dana Andrews (Igor Gouzenko), Gene Tierney (Anna Gouzenko), June Havoc (Karanova), Berry Kroeger (John Grubb), Edna Best (Mrs. Foster), Stefan Schnabel (Ranev), Nicholas Joy (Dr. Harold Norman), Eduard Franz (maggiore Kulin), Frederic Tozère (colonnello Trigorin), Noel Cravat (Bushkin), Reed Hadley (narratore); Prod.: Sol C. Siegel per Twentieth Century-Fox 35mm. D.: 87’. Bn.
The Iron Curtain was the first mainstream film to center squarely on distrust and fear of the Soviet Union, and pioneered the anti- Communist film genre. (…) [It] positioned Russia as an American adversary and used newly coined terms such as “Cold War” and “iron curtain” to characterize East-West relations. (…) The movie was based on the story of Igor Gouzenko, a Soviet Embassy cipher clerk in Ottawa who in September 1945 had defected to the West. The Gouzenko incident and the subsequent “Canadian spy scandal”, although largely forgotten now, were widely regarded at the time as key starting points in the Cold War. (…) Fearing that he and his family were about to be sent back to the USSR, Gouzenko walked away with a great deal of documentation concerning Russian espionage activities in North America…[and] helped the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to uncover an alleged Soviet atom spy ring, in which a number of prominent British and Canadian scientists were implicated…. Dana Andrews starred as Gouzenko and Gene Tierney as his wife. Andrews was a natural choice to play a “good Russian” after his performance in the pro-Soviet North Star (1943) (…) The film’s other Russians were broad, recycled Nazi-style stereotypes…. The film employed the pseudo-documentary style common in many gangster and espionage films of the period, and featured several location sequences filmed in Ottawa. The Iron Curtain arguably received more press than any other film released in 1948. In part this was because of the pre-opening night fracas [outside the Roxy Theatre in New York] and because of the debate [in the New York Times] between Bosley Crowther and Darryl Zanuck. There were also several newspaper items concerning a related copyright infringement suit brought against Fox by Prokofiev and three other Russian composers [Shostakovich, Khachaturian, and Miaskovsky], who claimed their scores had been used in the film without their per- mission.
Paul Swann, “International Conspiracy in and around The Iron Curtain,” The Velvet Light Trap (n. 35, Spring 1995)