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Cinema de Papa Pick: The Damned

By Jordan Osterer

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(Cohen Media, $24.98)

The Damned

In the last days of World War II, a group of Nazi soldiers and collaborators have crowded onto a U-boat bound for South America. An accident prompts a detour in Royan, where reluctant doctor Guilbert (a brooding Henri Vidal) is forced onboard. News trickles in via radio: Hitler is dead and the German military is ordered to stand down. The sadistic Forster (Jo Dest) insists that it’s business as usual in the Third Reich, while Italian industrialist Garosi (Fosco Gianchetti) laments being on the wrong side of the war. Tempers flare and personalities clash as the vessel drifts along, now a floating relic of defeat—and Cohen Media’s meticulous HD restoration of René Clément’s 1947 film allows us to savor every sideways glance and accusatory stare. Clément delivers a sure-handed exercise in claustrophobic suspense, and by the end, you can practically see the rivets popping on the submarine’s hull, buckling under the unrelenting tension.

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