Frederic Stahl, born of Viennese intelligentsia, ran away to sea at the age of seventeen. Embarking in America, his matinee idol looks and Old-World ... Show synopsis Frederic Stahl, born of Viennese intelligentsia, ran away to sea at the age of seventeen. Embarking in America, his matinee idol looks and Old-World charm took him to Hollywood, and a life of movies and women. But by autumn 1939, the unease in Europe has spread even to Stahl's glamorous enclave. War has been declared, and though bullets and bombs are yet to fly, his decision to shoot a film in Paris seems ill-advised. The Parisians know this is their last spring and a time to be passionate. Soon after his arrival, Stahl is drawn into a clandestine world of foreign correspondents, exiled Spanish republicans and, of course, spies of every sort. For as a celebrity from neutral America - who can travel across the continent freely - Stahl could be very useful indeed ...Returning to the Brasserie Heiniger, and some of the colourful cast from THE WORLD AT NIGHT, this is a headily atmospheric portrait of a continent in the grip of The Phony War.