Toward the end of World War II, the allied secret service receives a partial message indicating that the Germans are researching nuclear energy to build atomic bombs. In Midwestern ... See full summary »
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
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 »
I saw the restored version which is an hour longer than the print commonly available. Lang did some amazing things with text and graphics. His great reputation for innovation is well deserved.
This film is also very funny at times... as a result of intentional exaggeration for the most part. The level of expressionist abstraction allows one to view the mechanisms of the plot at some distance... the better to enjoy the formal qualities of Lang's vision.
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