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Shining Through [VHS]
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Product Description

Uncomfortably close to Ben Hecht and Alfred Hitchcock's film Notorious, this World War II drama (based on a novel by Susan Isaacs) concerns a love affair between a spy (Michael Douglas) and a secretary (Melanie Griffith) that goes south when duty turns him cold and pushes her into dangerous, behind-the-lines intelligence work. Liam Neeson plays the gentleman Nazi unwittingly providing Griffith with cover as domestic help. The best parts of the film are the twists and turns in the romance (Douglas is very good at playing a character who can turn off all feeling at will) at the beginning, while the German scenes are less compelling despite such high stakes for the heroine. The climax--taking us back to Notorious whether it wants to or not--is quite gripping, largely due to Douglas's performance. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Old time Hollywood
    this was a great trip down memory lane. When actors actually acted! ...more info
  • good job
    DVD was in good condition when it arive. Please with the price and delivery time...more info
  • If you love spy/love stories, Shining Through is for you....
    Shining Through was one of the best espionage stories I have ever seen. It is a accurate to the history, costumes, speech, and setting. The main characters played by Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith had an chemistry that matched those of 1930 black and white espionage movies. I can watch this film over and over and never get tired of seeing it. In my opinion, it was Melanie Griffth and Michael Douglas's best perfoamce ever. I waited 10 years for this movie to be released on DVD. Buy will not be disappointed. The book by Susan Issacs was equally fantasic to read. The movie surpassed the read which is unusal. ...more info
  • all time favorite
    What a cast, what a story, what a time in history... always a favorite theme of heroics and struggle for life and death with a real killing machine enemy. Thank you for your prompt service, excellent product and kind followup. G. Study Ft. Worth, TX USA...more info
  • Shining Through
    I absolutely love this movie. I think Melanie Griffith did an outstanding job as well as Michael Douglas & Liam Neeson. This movie has a great supporting cast as well and there are twists in this movie that one does not expect. If you like World War II dramas/espionage/thriller type movie's, then Shining Through is a must see. ...more info
  • One of my favorite WWII movies
    This movie reminds me so much of the movies that were made during WWII. There is an innocence about it that is endearing. My husband and I watch it and we do laugh about the impossiblity of it, but every time we get totally wrapped up in all over again. It is very much like the movies that the main character is in love with. Let go of reality and enjoy. It is a movie after all....more info
    This is one of my absolute favourite movies. The plot is both fascinating and intricate. The actors hold your attention throughtout the fast-paced movie and my enjoyment of it increases each time I view my copy of the video....more info
  • So bad it's good
    Wow! Taste my struddle! What a movie! This one must be seen to be believed. Never mind the side-splitting performance Melanie Griffith delivers, just try and figure out why she's hiding microfilm in frozen herring that is being shipped from Berlin (A land-locked city) to Norway (Fishing capital of Europe). And then, when she drops the microfilm right in front of a Gestopo agent, she simply covers it with her foot until he loses interest and goes away! By this time tears were running down my cheek!

    And then there's unilingual Michael Douglas racing to her rescue, traveling through Nazi Germany with a bandaid around his neck and a sign that reads, "Wounded soldier, can't speak". I guess that if they asked him to write something in German he could have just cramped up and shrugged. But fear not, he emegres in the end, none the worse for wear, even after being shot in the back, repeatedly, at point blank range with a German Mauser.

    It just gets better and better. If you can watch this one and not howl with laughter then, as one character says to Melanie Griffith, "Mein Gott, you've got guts!"....more info
  • Fun ride a la a MHC novel
    THe movie is a bit lighter than the book but it is a reliable, amusing diversion that you can walk in and out of ... a la a Mary Higgins Clark novel...that will enertain without particularly taxing the brain.
    What red blooded American girl has not thought that she would like to be a wonderspy at some time? Shining Through takes you on that ride quite nicely....more info
  • Just ridiculous
    Based on the entertainingly implausible potboiler by Susan Isaacs, this movie loses the core conflict (in the book, the heroine is married to the adult son of the character rewritten for Michael Douglas in the movie) and goes wildly off the rails in the Germany sequences. Griffith is nowhere near a good enough actress to make us buy the far-fetched scenario, and Douglas, as usual, clenches his jaw and flares his nostrils frequently. Without the emotional investment of the father/son triangle, the romance isn't terribly interesting anyway. Memorable for one high camp moment - Natasha Richardson, with a German accent, saying "Mein Gott, you've got guts!" to Griffith upon learning that she is a Jew....more info
  • brave people in history
  • Finally on DVD!
    I stumbled across this movie at a VHS blowout sale many years ago and fell in love with it.
    A little known film starring Melanie Griffith as a secretary turned spy and a "real" spy (Michael Douglas) during WWII.
    Now you can own this film on what's stopping you?!?...more info
  • Wanted: Top Spy; No experience or training needed, but must make great strudel
    I knew this movie was in trouble early on when Melanie Griffith/Linda Voss, in recounting her story to a BBC interviewer in her later years, for some reason felt she had to educate him to the fact that the bombing of London was known as "the Blitz". Jeez, maybe she should have also hipped him to the fact that Omaha Beach isn't in Nebraska. I really began to squirm when she busted top OSS officer Michael Douglas/Ed Leland as he dictated to her a super-secret spy letter using clunky super-secret code words which, of course, avid movie fan Linda immediately recognized as referring to submarines. Gosh, how did we ever win WWII wihtout bubble-headed babes like this? In this movie, unfortunately, we find out: The Nazis are even dumber!

    If you can hold a flashlight up to one ear and see it "shining through" on the other side, you'll just love this unintentionally hilarious Harlequin romance.

    For the rest of us, Roger Ebert sums it up nicely: "An insult to the intelligence".

    ...more info
  • Excellent film, with excellent acting!
    I have loved this film since I saw it when it first came out on VHS! In fact, I watched it so many times that I ruined the tape. The story is engrossing, and the acting is top-notch! The obvious chemistry between Melanie Griffith and Michael Douglas made the film so much more realistic. I can't say enough good things about it. I am eagerly anticipating the film's release on DVD so I can add it to my growing collection of excellent films....more info
  • Spy & Love Story
    This is one of my favorite DVDs. It's set between the USA and Nazi-Germany about 1945. Melanie Griffin and Michael Douglas are the primary actors, of course, with great supporting actors/actresses. Melanie is half Jewish, living in Queens, in search of a job. While looking for a secretary job, she gets the not-good-enough treatment because she's not from Vassar. Things change quickly, when they hear her speaking German to a cleaning lady. Just so happens that the head honcho (Michael) needs an interpreter secretary cause he can't speak German. Turns out old Michael is a secret spy for the USA and makes trips back and forth to Germany and needs letters translated and such.

    When one of the other spies gets whacked by the Nazis, Melanie decides she wants to go into the spy thing for the US, so she can check out her Jewish relatives, last seen in Berlin, and maybe get them to safety in the US, somehow. She manages to even mix in with the German elite. Liam Neeson is also great as a high-ranking German officer. And John Gielgud is a spy too. As always, he is outstanding in everything.

    There are great plots, characters, twists and turns, and lots of suspense. It's a spy thing, run-and-hide from the Nazi's (who are snoopy little suckers), get the secrets, and get out alive type movie. It's also a love story, cause Melanie falls in love with old Michael along the way and he acts like the coldest mackarel in town. Of course, if I tell you any more, I'll have to shoot you, cause it's a SPY movie. (DUH!)

    I've watched this movie a bah-zillion times. It is really great. ...more info
  • Shining Through
    This is truly one of the best movies made in our time. It is well done, the cast is subperb, and the images of Germany are amazing. This is a classic!...more info
  • Great cast and an excellent romantic thriller!
    I was on the edge of my seat during this movie. There were so many different turns, between the romance and the WWII espionage aspect of the movie. Subtle humor and wonderful performances.

    Melanie Griffith plays Linda, a young woman born to immigrants: a Jewish, German father and an Irish mother. She has been raised to speak both German and English. Her ability to speak German with fluency allows her to become a secretary for Ed Leland (Michael Douglas), a spy. Her sharp eye for details frustrates Ed to no end as she points out that she would make a better spy than he does. Stubborn to a fault, she convinces Ed to allow her into Germany so that she can spy on high-ranking Nazi officials ... undercover as a German domestic. Through a series of turns, she is fired from one job but is quickly re-hired by another Nazi officer (Liam Neeson), who trusts her as a nanny to watch his children. Linda struggles to maintain her cover and to try to save her cousins -- Jews who are struggling to hide in Berlin. Linda is tutored in espionage by the legendary agent Sunflower (John Gielgud), a German spying for the Americans.

    Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith have great chemistry in this movie. Melanie Griffith speaks German with such a convincing accent she is to be commended. Liam Neeson and John Gielgud add to the film nicely. All in all, a good WWII/spy movie with the right amount of romance and adventure....more info
  • One of my Favorite Movies!
    Being a movie buff and passionate about my collection, I find this movie to be among one of the most enjoyable dramas to watch over and over again. Melonie Griffith and Michael Douglas have a special chemistry throughout the movie. I love the plot and the ending! It feels like a true story when you're watching it. I can't wait to own it in DVD....more info
  • Shining Through - surprisingly good
    Great viewing, right to the end. I had not seen this movie on the big screen, so I can't compare the effect, but at home the sets and cinematography came across really well on the TV. Great cast, story exciting without being too unrealistic, apart from the somewhat melodramatic ending on the Swiss border, but overall, a really enjoyable movie. I'm glad I bought it....more info
  • Classic Hollywood, I do agree
    I saw some of the other (negative) reviews on this movie, and I think they're missing the point. I wasn't very interested in the individual acting performances, as much as I was in the story itself. I haven't been able to find many movies that were done in the WWII setting as this one was, so that was a unique, refreshing perspective in and of itself.
    The "Romance" element is essential to any war story, so putting it up front in the movie set the tone for everything else, to me. Even the conflict caused by Liam Neeson's character, which showed some humanity within the borders of 1940's Germany, was a nice change from the expected ruthlessness that's typical in these settings.
    I'm obviously not a professional critic. Not even close. I'm a typical guy that likes good movies and good stories. I didn't even know that this movie was based on a novel. I don't wanna know. All I know is that the movie works for me....more info
  • Melanie G collection
    So glad to get this on dvd, Great picture and sound.
    This is a fantastic movie for mystery and a love story that you will want to see again and again!!!
    Fast speedy service always with amazon!!!...more info
  • A good comedy -- a bad war drama
    I think I might have enjoyed "Shining Through" more if I'd been drunk. This movie is a fantastic ensemble comedy, but I don't think they were trying to make one! The only redeeming points of the movie were Liam Neeson and Joely Richardson's performances as a pair of Nazis.

    Melanie Griffith plays Linda Voss, a young woman of mixed Irish and Jewish ancestry in World War II. Because of her linguistic skills, she's hired as a translator for Ed Leland (Michael Douglas), who works for the government as a spy (he keeps denying it, but she's seen movies so she knows better!). They become lovers, until his work comes between them. But no sooner have they been reunited than a spy is needed to sneak into Germany to find some bomb-related plans.

    She's accompanied into Germany by Konrad "Sunflower" Friedrichs (Sir John Gielgud, who looks like he's always thinking "What am I doing in this movie?") and his niece Margrete Von Eberstein (Joely Richardson). Her position as a chef blows up on the first night, and she quickly finds herself hired as a nanny by elite Nazi official Franz-Otto Dietrich (Liam Neeson, Richardson's now-brother-in-law). And now that she's inside his house, she has only a limited amount of time to find the plans.

    I don't think the people who made this movie wanted me to like the Nazis more than the Americans, but unfortunately the Nazis are a lot more likeable. Richardson comes across as competant and multifaceted, divided in her loyalties; Neeson comes across as a loving father, a nice sensitive guy (we don't ever hear of him actually doing anything bad!) with big puppy-dog eyes. Frankly it's hard not to like him, especially compared to the insensitive clod Leland. Douglas looks unhappy and embarrassed all throughout the movie, he's as stiff and cold as a pine board, and Griffith's performance is the stuff of nightmares.

    It doesn't help that the best description of Linda is "ditzy blonde." She gets all her info about spies from movies, whines when Douglas goes on missions, and thinks she's qualified to be a spy because she can make strudel. (In one scene she runs through a crowded street chanting a secret password out loud!) She also mouths off to everyone in a way that would not be tolerated in a mere secretary (prepare to cringe when she says "My other half's Irish"), and bungles everything spy-related.

    I would say this is a movie best shown to young children but there's a fair amount of profanity, violence, and a detailed sex scene. The direction is pretty terrible -- you'd think WWII included only a handful of people. The Nazis have none of the casual amorality that the real people did. There are one or two creepy, freaky moments that work, like the German woman who exults that the house they took from a Jewish family had everything they wanted (even bedsheets with correct monograms), but they're few and far between. If they'd had Dietrich doing something, anything wrong, then it might have worked. There are a few moments of intentional comedy ("That pompous little (butt) ate a raw bird to prove it was edible!") but most of the comedy is totally accidental. ("What's a war for if not to hold on to what we love?" Gaaaaaggg!)

    I only can recommend this to fans of Joely and Liam, because they are the only ones who actually have good roles to play. "Schindler's List" this ain't!...more info

  • A Beautiful Look At The '40s During WWII
    I acquired this mainly because it is a beautifully-filmed period piece centered around World War II. There are several train station scenes that I think about when recalling this film. They are a couple of the highlights of the fine cinematography and set designs in here. Overall, the movie had nice 1940s feel to it with the cars, dress, hairstyles and colors. It also is good to see this on widescreen DVD.

    The story also is interesting but not exactly plausible in one major regard: Melanie Griffith as a spy. sorry, but the bimbo-like quality of Melanie's voice, doesn't lead credence to playing this kind of character. I just can't picture her as some super-intelligent spy, but maybe she's a lot smarter than the roles she usually plays.

    Otherwise, this is a well-done, involving suspense film that I enjoy from start to finish....more info
    Let's first quickly get the negatives out of the way. The somewhat doozy theme of Griffith and Douglas as WWII spies may be borderline incredible. That's pretty much all one could dislike about the film (frankly, it's all about the execution, and I loved the spy undercurrent.)

    Beyond that, as I was prepared to look because this is fiction, the movie enjoys top notch production qualities. The music is beautiful, the cinematography stunning, the script deliciously memorable. The screenplay is something budding artists should watch and learn from, it never lets up for a second throughout the entire movie. There're twists and turns, and you're always on the edge.

    Yet, quite admirably, amidst all these gripping moments, the film somehow also manages to couch a wonderfully moving romantic story. Griffith is great, and a part of her charm relies in the look she gives, that "shy-scary" look she projects, the look of the typical defenseless woman who inside is smarter and braver than any man on the planet. Were there women in that time who could be so accurately bilingual? Why, it doesn't sound all that impossible to me.

    If you enjoy watching romantic movies, don't miss this one. It's one of my favorites of all time, and it stands the true test of good cinema -- repeat viewing. Delectable!...more info

  • Shining Through
    I can not wait until this movie comes out on DVD because my VHS version is worn out from watching it over and over!
    It is truly one of my all time favorite movies, and I normally can't even stand Melanie Griffith!
    I would recommend this film to anyone. Especially anybody that has an interest in the history of the 1940s, WWII, and doesn't mind it presented in a romantic drama....more info
  • One of my favorite movies
    Well written and acted, with great scenery, good action and a wonderful ending. Just the movie for a snowy Saturday afternoon. ...more info