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Spies (1928)
"Spione" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Romance, Thriller  |  10 March 1929 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,904 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 33 critic

The mastermind behind a ubiquitous spy operation learns of a dangerous romance between a Russian lady in his employ and a dashing agent from the government's secret service.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Gerda Maurus ...
Sonya Baranilkowa
...
Kitty
Louis Ralph ...
Hans Morrier (Hans Morriera, English version)
Craighall Sherry ...
Burton Jason / Miles Jason
...
No. 326 (Det. Donald Tremaine, English version)
...
Chauffeur Franz
Hertha von Walther ...
Lady Leslane
Lupu Pick ...
Doctor Masimoto (Matsumoto, English version)
Fritz Rasp ...
Colonel Jellusic (Ivan Stepanov, English version)
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Storyline

Haghi is a criminal mastermind whose ubiquitous spy operation is always several steps ahead of the police and the government's secret service. Enter Agent 326, the daring and dashing young man, who thinks his disguise as a dirty, bearded vagrant is fooling the unknown mastermind and his minions. But Haghi is well aware of 326's existence and what he looks like. Enter Sonya, a Russian lady in Haghi's employ. Haghi wants Sonya to subvert the efforts of the government agent, but doesn't count on her falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Haghi is anxious to get his hands on a Japanese peace treaty in the possession of the cunning Doctor Masimoto, whose mistress is also in his employ. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

10 March 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spies  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD edition) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

UFA insisted on the film being very cheap in the making as Fritz Lang's previous film Metropolis (1927) had brought the studio to near bankruptcy. Lang therefore choose to do most of the shots in narrow settings with lots of close ups, as no big sets had to be built up for that way of filming. Fortunately "Spione" became a huge success. See more »

Quotes

Haghi: Curtain!
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User Reviews

 
Excellent early spy thriller
31 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spione (Spies) is a Fritz Lang film about spy espionage. The plot is strangely more complicated than more recent spy flicks (which is a good thing). The film focuses on No. 326, a spy that is responsible for investigating leads on a mysterious mastermind that controls a network of spies. The mastermind, known as Haghi, plots to steal an important treaty. It turns out that he leads a double life as the owner of a successful bank (which apparently makes him richer than Henry Ford). Things get complicated when Haghi sends a female spy, Sonya, to prevent No. 326 from interfering. Sonya falls in love with No. 326 while still under the supervision of Haghi, leading to the usual conflicts.

The acting and characterization was wonderful. Haghi is the definition of bad guy: you know he is evil when you see the goatee. Confined to a wheelchair, he is the perfect blend of intelligence and deceptiveness. Agent No. 326 is an interesting character, although he loses some of his features as the film progresses. Sonya is beautiful and acted wonderfully. Among the side characters, I found that Colonel Jellusic and Doctor Masimoto stood out.

Although a little overlong, the film is at no point slow. Mixing fast pacing with well-placed plot twists (which really build up towards the end), anyone with interest in the subject should have no problem enjoying it for the entire running time.

I was not sure what to expect from Spione before watching it, seeing that it is a largely forgotten film. I enjoy Fritz Lang films, and this was no exception. It may not be the caliber of M, but it succeeds anyway. If you do not mind silent films and enjoy the spy/espionage genre (namely, James Bond), then you will enjoy this one.


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