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Movies from comedy to drama to your favorite Hollyweird Star.

"The Catcher was a Spy"; a recent release.

I saw this on pay per view tv, and was surprised to find it was released in June.

This is based on a book with the same title; the true (-ish) story of Moe Berg, a catcher for the Red Sox in the times before WW2. A strange guy, played by Paul Rudd, Berg was an extreme scholar who spoke 7 languages and studied everything, but chose to play baseball.

After the war started, Berg signed up with the OSS (pre-CIA) to be a spy, mostly in the European theater. His main task in this film is to confront Werner Heisenberg about his intentions to help Germany build the atomic bomb. If no confidence found, then he was to become Werner's assassin.

This is a true story, and I cut artistic slack for these so the story can adhere to facts as much as possible. In this case, not much slack is needed; the story develops well and has a lot of tension. Good performances by Rudd, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti, Mark Stone, Jeff Daniels, and others.

Obviously Berg did not kill Heisenberg. Werner went on to be one of the world's premier physicists. After the war, he helped the allies obtain all of the Nazi resources concerning the bomb -- which was not much. Berg's instincts were accurate.

Not covered in the film is another one of Berg's OSS operations; parachuting into Yugoslavia to determine which of several anti-Nazi movements was the strongest. He identified Tito's group, and so the US backed them up. Tito of course, went on to become a ruthless Yugoslavia dictator after the war. The closest this film gets to that is showing Berg in his Balkan studies office, asking for field work to keep from going nuts behind his desk.

Its an incomplete account, but it was a big war, and its just a movie -- and a book.




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Topic - "The Catcher was a Spy"; a recent release. - free.ranger 18:43:08 07/03/18 (0)

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