Betrayed (1954 film)

Betrayed is a 1954 war drama film directed by Gottfried Reinhardt from a screenplay by Ronald Millar and George Froeschel, and starring Clark Gable, Lana Turner, Victor Mature, and Louis Calhern. The musical score was by Walter Goehr and Bronislau Kaper, and the cinematography by Freddie Young. The picture, Gable's last for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, was filmed on location in the Netherlands and England, and was based on the story of turncoat Dutch resistance leader Christiaan Lindemans, also known as "King Kong". The supporting cast features O. E. Hasse, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Ian Carmichael, Niall MacGinnis, and Theodore Bikel. Betrayed was the fourth and final movie in which Gable played opposite Turner, and their third pairing set during World War II. (They played comrades, not simply lovers, in all three war films.)

Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed byGottfried Reinhardt
Written byRonald Millar
George Froeschel
StarringClark Gable
Lana Turner
Victor Mature
Louis Calhern
Wilfrid Hyde-White
Music byWalter Goehr
Bronislau Kaper
CinematographyFreddie Young
Edited byJohn D. Dunning
Raymond Poulton
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • September 7, 1954 (1954-09-07)
CountryUnited States
Box office$4,177,000[1]

Diana Coupland provided Turner's singing voice in the song, "Johnny Come Home".

Betrayed was spoofed in the film Top Secret! (1984).[2]


Betrayed is an espionage thriller set in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, and revolves mostly around the Dutch resistance movement.

Dutch intelligence agent Pieter Deventer (Clark Gable) is ordered to keep an eye on suspected collaborator Fran Seelers (Lana Turner). Both Deventer and Seelers join the Dutch underground, making contact with a flamboyant resistance leader known as "The Scarf" (Victor Mature). Deventer also secretly goes back and forth to England to consult with a British General.

As "Carla Van Oven", Seelers' assignment is to use her feminine charms to gain the confidence of admiring Nazi officers and learn information. In one scene, resistance fighters burst into a lavish dinner party where Seelers is singing, and shoot Nazi officers. Within the next few weeks, however, a considerable number of underground operatives are captured and shot while carrying out ambushes and sabotage missions. It begins to look as though Deventer's suspicions concerning Seelers are correct, though he is strongly drawn to her. Ultimately, however, "The Scarf" is revealed to be the guilty collaborator and is executed by Deventer, allowing him and Seelers to be lovers.



The film was at one stage known as The True and the Brave, with Kirk Douglas mentioned as a possible star.[3] Richard Widmark was at one stage a forerunner for the part played by Victor Mature.[4] Ava Gardner was to play the female lead, but was eventually replaced by Lana Turner.[5]

Filming took place in late 1953 and early 1954, on location in Holland and England.[6]

It was the final film Gable made for MGM under his contract, which ended in March 1954.[7]


Box Office

According to MGM records, the film earned $1,966,000 in the US and Canada, and $2,211,000 overseas, resulting in a profit of $821,000.[1]

Critical reception

In a 1954 New York Times review, critic Bosley Crowther wrote: "By the time this picture gets around to figuring out whether the betrayer is Miss Turner or Mr. Mature, it has taken the audience through such a lengthy and tedious amount of detail that it has not only frayed all possible tension, but it has aggravated patience as well. Miss Turner and Mr. Gable have had many long-winded talks; Mr. Mature has thumped his chest like Tarzan and bellowed his boasts a score of times. An excess of espionage maneuvering has been laid out on the screen. The beauties of the countryside of the Netherlands have been looked at until they pall."[2]

Home media

Betrayed was released on DVD and digital download on March 23, 2009, as part of the Warner Archive.[8]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Crowther, Bosley (September 9, 1954). "'Betrayed,' War Story, Opens at the State". The New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2019.
  3. Schallert, E. (1953, Jul 30). River boat perennial bought; london tale of reincarnation set. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  4. Schallert, E. (1953, Aug 28). Vistarama exhibited; justin rival of power, spy role for widmark. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. U.S. GROUP TO LEAVE FOR FILM IN AFRICA: Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews Will Make 'Duel in Jungle' in Kruger National Park Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 18 July 1953: 6
  6. By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1954, Jan 27). CHAMPION TO FILM E. E. HALE CLASSIC. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  7. By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES. (1953, Dec 18). GREER GARSON TO DO A MOVIE IN ENGLAND. New York Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
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