Dangerous Moonlight (1941)

Anton Walbrook and Sally Gray in Dangerous Moonlight (1941)

As Warsaw is being bombed, Polish concert pianist and composer Stefan 'Steve' Radetzky (Anton Walbrook) is playing the "Warsaw Concerto" in a bombed out building when attractive American journalist Carole Peters (Sally Gray) walks in and they begin to talk. There is something about Carole which intrigues him and sometime later when Stefan ends up in America on a concert tour with friends he meets Carole again and after a while are married. But things are complicated as Stefan wants to fight and after his friend informs him of a Polish squadron in England Carole doesn't want him to go.

As propaganda movies go "Dangerous Moonlight" is not exactly forthcoming, oh it certainly makes it points as we get to see both the efforts of those in mainland Europe as well as America but it doesn't grab you like other propaganda movies from the time. It sort of floats along with this story of Polish composer Stefan Radetzky and his relationship to Carole but not really grabbing you with the drama or romance. Yes there is the conflict as on one hand he wants to fight and on the other there is Carole but it never grips you with exciting drama. Even the opening of a war damaged Stefan in a London hospital playing the piano, unaware of who he is fails to add anything to the movie.

The knock on effect of this is that whilst Anton Walbrook delivers a dashing performance as Stefan and Sally Gray is attractive and confident as Carole the performances are typical and their characters are forgettable. In fact as the movie opened with Walbrook as Radetzky stuck behind the piano in the hospital I was convinced I had seen the movie before because it is was all too familiar.

But "Dangerous Moonlight" is memorable for one thing and that is the "Warsaw Concerto" a short piano piece by Richard Addinsell which was composed for this movie. It is a piece of music which quickly gained popularity with audiences and is still recognized by those who enjoy music although to be frank as a movie fan it isn't really my thing.

What this all boils down to is that "Dangerous Moonlight" whilst significant for some due to the piece of music the "Warsaw Concerto" is just a middle of the road propaganda movie for those who watch as movie fans looking to be entertained.

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