Spies (1928)
"Spione" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Romance, Thriller  |  10 March 1929 (USA)
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Reviews: 25 user | 34 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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Complete credited cast:
Gerda Maurus ...
Sonya Baranilkowa
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)


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


Romance | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 March 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Spies  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD edition) | (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


Haghi: Curtain!
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Referenced in Blackout (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

Great escapist entertainment--who cares that it's silent?
26 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Spies" is much more entertaining than you would expect an old German silent movie to be, and at first, it's hard to say why. The character types are familiar from hundreds of other spy movies: a villain who is bent on world domination and has multiple secret identities, a beautiful blonde who works as a spy for the villain, a dashing enemy agent who falls in love with the female spy. The plot is fairly ludicrous, though it moves along briskly and provides for some great set-pieces, such as an exhilarating chase scene. But despite all the clichés found in "Spies," the movie still feels fresh and vital. You get drawn into the world of the film and accept the clichés, rather than becoming distracted by them.

I'm sure most of the credit for this has to go to the director, Fritz Lang. His films ("Metropolis," "M") often have a very dark world view, but the overall tone of "Spies" is escapist adventure-fantasy. It aims to provoke thrills, not shock or outrage. Lang creates some stunning visual compositions and proves to be a very detail-oriented director—he delights in close-ups of spy gadgetry! His innovative use of montages, dramatic lighting, camera movement, and other techniques gives the film an interesting stylization.

I'm writing this review after watching the 90-minute American version of "Spies". But I had such a good time that I may have to seek out the 146-minute version!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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