USA Today - 08/27/1999
"...Very much in the mode of Britain's great mysteries of the previous half-decade....The casting captures the imagination..."
Director Michael Powell (PEEPING TOM) made this criminally overlooked comic thriller in 1940, when WWII had ravaged much of England. What makes this remarkable is that the film is set in 1939 during a blackout and yet Powell makes the film a lighthearted thriller even though his country was still in the midst of a horrible war. However, this is not what makes the film so remarkable. A Hitchcockian brew of international intrigue, lengthy chase scenes, and virtuoso cinematography, the film follows the kidnapping of Danish sea captain (Veidt) and his mysterious and beautiful passenger (Hobson) by Nazis operating out of a Soho basement. Escaping from their captors, the unlikely pair are chased around London by the Nazis through increasingly bizarre situations. A beautiful film whose vision of London as a dark labyrinth is as striking and entertaining, CONTRABAND is a hugely enjoyable entertainment as well as a reflection on a very dark period in English history.