The Iron Curtain (film)

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The Iron Curtain
Poster of the movie The Iron Curtain.jpg
Directed by William Wellman
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Screenplay by Milton Krims
Based on I Was Inside Stalin's Spy Ring
1947 articles in
Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan 
by Igor Gouzenko
Starring Dana Andrews
Gene Tierney
Narrated by Reed Hadley
Music by Alfred Newman
Cinematography Charles G. Clarke
Edited by Louis R. Loeffler
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release dates
May 12, 1948
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Iron Curtain is a 1948 black-and-white thriller film starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney, directed by William Wellman. The film was based on the memoirs of Igor Gouzenko.[1] Principal photography was done on location in Ottawa, Canada by Charles G. Clarke.[2] The film was later re-released as Behind the Iron Curtain.

In Shostakovich v. Twentieth Century-Fox, Russian composer Dmitry Shostakovich unsuccessfully sued the film's distributor, Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, in New York court, for using musical works of his that had fallen into the public domain.


Igor Gouzenko (Dana Andrews), an expert at deciphering codes, comes to the Soviet embassy in Ottawa, Canada in wartime 1943, along with a Soviet military colonel, Trigorin (Frederic Tozere), and a major, Kulin (Eduard Franz), to set up a base of operations.

Warned of the sensitive and top-secret nature of his work, Igor is put to a test by his superiors, who have the seductive Nina Karanova (June Havoc) try her wiles on him. Igor proves loyal to not only the cause but to his wife, Anna (Gene Tierney), who arrives in Ottawa shortly thereafter with the news that she is pregnant.

Trigorin and his security chief, Ranov (Stefan Schnabel), meet with John Grubb (Berry Kroeger), the founder of Canada's branch of the Communist Party. One of their primary targets is uranium being used for atomic energy by Dr. Harold Norman (Nicholas Joy), whom they try to recruit.

In the years that pass, the atomic bomb ends the war. Anna, who has borne a son, now has serious doubts about the family's future, particularly when Igor begins hearing that he is going to be reassigned back to Moscow. He takes secret documents and tells Anna to hide them, in case anything happens to him. Trigorin and Ranov threaten his life, but Igor refuses to return the papers.

Grubb and two others are called back to the Soviet Union to answer for their failures. Canada's government places the Gouzenkos in protective custody and grants them residence, with a warning that a watchful eye will be kept on their activities in the future.



Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to Gouzenko's articles about his experiences as Hollywood began producing films regarding Communist infiltration in the late '40s. The studio also purchased the rights to two historical books on Soviet espionage, George Moorad's Behind the Iron Curtain and Richard Hirsch's The Soviet Spies: The Story of Russian Espionage in North America, though no material from the two books was actually used in the film.[1]

Soviet sympathizers attempted unsuccessfully to disrupt location shooting in Ottawa, where Fox captured exteriors during a cold Canadian winter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "The Iron Curtain". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  2. ^ Higham, Charles; Greenberg, Joel (1968). Hollywood in the Forties. London: A. Zwemmer Limited. p. 75. ISBN 0-302-00477-7. 

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