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 »
Fritz Lang was one of the great silent film directors (His talkies are great as well) and this is his best silent film. Agents target the mysterious Haghi (Rudolf Klien-Rogge), a master criminal out to topple the banks of the world. The pursuit includes a seductive young female spy driving a Japanese business man to hari-kiri, assassinations, a chase and a showdown on a train (that collides in one heck of a sequence.) The film concludes with Haghi trapped on a stage where he is dressed as a clown (Why a powerful bank president moonlights as a third rate clown has always puzzled me.) Alfred Hitchcock openly cites this brillaint film as an influence. Also, there is a priceless glimpse of 1920's Germany here- the decadence of Berlin, where apartment dwellers turn their tiny flats into bars for extra cash. Even when the film plays in its complete 3 hour form, it's an exciting time at the movies.
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