The Law of Contact

Dark Journey (July 2, 1937)

Vivien Leigh in Dark Journey

Released in July 2, 1937: During WWI, a British spy and a German spy meet and fall in love.

Directed by Victor Saville

The Actors: Conrad Veidt (Baron Karl Von Marwitz), Vivien Leigh (Madeleine Goddard), Joan Gardner (Lupita), Anthony Bushell (Bob Carter), Ursula Jeans (Gertrude), Margery Pickard (Colette), Eliot Makeham (Anatole Bergen), Austin Trevor (Dr. Muller), Sam Livesey (Major Schaeffer), Edmund Willard (General Berlin of German Intelligence), Charles Carson (Head of Fifth Bureau), Philip Ray (Faber), Henry Oscar (Swedish Magistrate), Lawrence Hanray (Cottin), Cecil Parker (Captain of the Q-Boat), Reginald Tate (Mate of the Q-Boat), Percy Walsh (Captain of the Swedish Packet), Robert Newton (Officer of the U-Boat), William Dewhurst (the killer), Laidman Browne (Rugge), M. Martin Harvey (Bohlan), Anthony Holles (the Dutchman), John Clifford (bit part), Cyril Smith (valet).


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I've gotta be honest, when I saw the name of this movie, and the subject matter, I thought, "Well, the beautiful Vivien Leigh is in it, but it looks like a total bore of a movie. Who cares about WWI any more? It wasn't as 'sexy' or 'earth shattering' as WWII, right?" But, I've got to watch it whether I want to or not. I have no choice. So I started in, and got so engrossed in it that I just couldn't take my eyes away from the screen, and I got so involved in the story of these two fervent lovers on opposing sides during a war that few understood fully. As good a story as the ones about the U.S. Civil war with brothers on each side of the conflict.

A young and dashing Conrad Veidt is Baron Karl Von Marwitz, a ladies man about town that falls fatally in love with the always beautiful Vivien Leigh, who plays Madeleine Goddard, owner of a French high end dress shop. When they fall in love, neither of them realizes that the other is a spy - the Baron is the head of 'section 8' a spy ring for Germany, and she is a spy for Britain. By the time they each discover that the other is a spy, and that they are on different teams, they are both so much in love that they want to get out of the whole mess and go to somewhere where they can live together away from the war and it's complications. But alas, they are both too deeply involved with their spy activities to be allowed to walk away. Shortly after they discover each other's true jobs, Madeleine is arrested as a spy and deported, as the Baron watches helplessly, or does he watch helplessly?

As Madeleine is deported and locked in the room of a ship leaving the country for who-knows-where, and the Baron sits helplessly among his German comrades, the ship she is on is attacked by a german U-boat, and Madeleine faces probable death as the passengers line up for the Germans to inspect.

If this were not a war movie, we would expect that the lovers would somehow be united and live happily ever after, but during war, sometimes tragedy is the call of the hour, not 'happily ever after.' People are imprisoned and killed just for being suspected of being a spy, and both of our lovers are suspected by their superiors of being double agents for the other side because of their association with each other. Of course, I won't tell you how this one ends, but trust me, make a very large bowl of popcorn before you sit down to watch this one, because once you are 15 minutes into it, you won't want to stop it for anything, and the last fifteen minutes of this Dark Journey will keep you glued to the screen like few movies can.