30 mars 1950. Une histoire de vengeance sur fond de seconde guerre mondiale avec dépaysement garantie grâce aux paysages italiens. Voilà qui pourrait redonner du baume au cœur à notre passant cinéphile en ce jour de mars maussade. Direction donc le Paramount pour découvrir ce Captain Carey, U.S.A.
Critique d’époque :
« Alan Ladd, who did one tour of duty with the O. S. S. four years ago in a frank « cloak and dagger » melodrama which went by the title « O. S. S., » is being recalled to duty – in combative sprit, at least – in the Paramount’s latest offering, Captain Carey, U. S. A. But the old fire is obviously missing, not only in Mr. Ladd but in Paramount’s swivel-chair scriptwriters. Captain Carey is a disappointing dud.
To be sure, he is now operating entirely on his own – and on a mission for which he has slight stomach, considering developments in the case. Seems that this Captain Carey, a former O. S. S. officer, has returned to northern Italy to settle a wartime score, to seek out the underground traitor who betrayed him and a pal to the foe. And hardly has he started when he discovers that his old sweetheart, whom he thought dead, is married to a local of dark appearance. Quite enough to deflate any man.
But that isn’t the fault with the picture. Captain Carey – or rather, Mr. Ladd – has often surmounted disappointments much more depressing than this. The fault is that the activities of Captain Carey and the others in the piece are much too lethargic and discursive for any interest to accumulate. In the first place, the plot is thickened to the density of a bucket of tar and, in the second place, the solving of the mystery is about as compelling as a slap on the wrist. Only in the final sequence, when Captain Carey gets his man in a basement room, do the fists really fly, the daggers whistle and the furniture dissolves into kindling wood.
In the role of the moody Captain Carey, Mr. Ladd weaves a melancholy course through a great deal of fake Italian scenery and actors in fake Italian roles. It appears (and for very good reason) that he has little interest in the job. When he comes out of that last contusive battle, he perceptibly heaves a sigh.
And no wonder. The least prepossessing of his playmates within the heavy cast is Wanda Hendrix, who is supposed to be the lady – the Italian countess – to whom he has given his heart. But neither as countess nor as heartthrob does Miss Hendrix convey any more than a vague thought of a high-school drama heroine. And she fresh from « The Prince of Foxes » and the Renaissance !
Francis Lederer, as this lady’s black-browed husband; Joseph Calleia, as a doctor in the town; Virginia Farmer, as a grim Italian peasant, and many more perform in secondary roles. But under Mitchell Leisen’s direction and the load of a ponderous script, they look like uncomfortable humbugs. So does Captain Carey, U. S. A. On the stage at the Paramount are Mel Torme, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Morgan, Vic and Adio, Rafael Mendez and Sam Donohue and his orchestra ». Par Bosley Crowther pour le New York Times.
Raté, décevant, léthargique, lourd, des acteurs peu impliqués. Captain Carey, U.S.A est une véritable catastrophe pour Bosley Crowther.
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