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The Good German

Year: 2006
Production Co: Sunset Gower Studios
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Tobey Maguire, Jack Thompson
Another of Clooney and Soderbergh's experiments, an homage to the cinematic look, storytelling style and texture of Casablanca. If you were unsure just how much of a reproduction it is, watch the last scene with Lena (Blanchett) dressed exactly like Isla (Bergman) and the military plane waiting nearby complete with ghostly spotlights shadowing it.

With the Second World War recently over, post-Nazi Berlin is a jewel for the taking for enterprising crooks as the Potsdam conference goes on nearby. When a grizzled military reporter (Clooney) tries to cover the conference, he finds that his abrasive driver (Maguire) is now the brutal beau of his former flame (Blanchett).

When the driver turns up dead and stuffed with money, Jake (Clooney) is drawn into a world of deceit, betrayal... you know the rest. This is like the bastard love child of Casablanca and Chinatown, with a thousand shady characters all hovering for a piece of the action, the gruff hero and the beautiful woman trying to second guess them all before it means their lives.

It gets everything right, and the scenes of Berlin still strewn with rubble are brilliant, but audiences weren't interested, the film a spectacular flop.

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