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Dangerous Moonlight

(1941 b 94')

En: 6 Ed: 6

A pianist-flyer leaves Poland and tours the United States, marrying an American reporter but deciding to go back for the battle of Britain.

In November 1940 Stefan Radetzky (Anton Walbrook) is a patient in a London hospital trying to remember his past by playing piano. As he plays the "Warsaw Concerto," he recalls composing it while Germans bomb. He meets reporter Carole Peters (Sally Gray) and says he is a pilot; only two men are left in his squadron. She is from New York and inspires him. Before the truce Polish pilots volunteer for a suicide squadron to bomb Germany; but Stefan is not selected and with others flies new planes to Romania.

Stefan arrives in New York for a concert tour and buys Carole a drink. She reminds him they have met before. Stefan's friend Mike Carroll (Derrick De Marney) goes out to see Carole, but she comes to Stefan. He says he is going back. They kiss and agree to marry. They go to her house and tell her father Bill Peters (Percy Parsons) they married. Carole takes Stefan to her home that has a piano. Stefan's tour is moved up, and Mike calls Carole. Mike wants Stefan to join a Polish squadron in England, but Carole does not tell Stefan that. Stefan tells Carole flying is like another world. Carole keeps Mike from telling Stefan.

Mike travels with Carole and Stefan as he performs. Germany invades Belgium. Stefan learns Mike is going to England and wants to go. Carole sees Mike off on the train. Stefan tells Carole he must help his country; but she argues he is doing more with his music. Stefan learns that the Germans took Paris and has Henri De Guise (Kenneth Kent) cancel his second tour. Henri admits he is English. Stefan tells Bill Peters he is going back to fly, and he informs Carole he is leaving tomorrow. Carole tells him that Mike said he was kept out of the suicide squadron. Stefan says he is determined now. At the concert Carole tells her father she had a bad row with Stefan. He plays Beethoven and the premiere of the "Warsaw Concerto." Stefan tells the audience his country is grateful to them, and he plays Chopin's "Polonaise," causing Carole to run home and cry. Her father consoles her. She goes back but can't find Stefan.

In August 1940 Stefan flies in England, and Mike shows him around. Mike wins at poker. Stefan tells him he doesn't want to hear from Carole, and they quarrel. Mike takes off but does not come back. Stefan gets Mike's papers and reads the letter from Carole. Stefan takes off with other fighters. Stefan shoots down two planes. After his guns jam, he flies into a German plane. At the piano Stefan sees Carole, remembers, and says, "Carole, it's not safe to go out with you when the moon is so bright."

This moving war drama with fine music makes a strong appeal for helping England in its fight against the Germans.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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