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Three Faces East (1930)

A beautiful British intelligence agent attempts to reveal the identity and motives of a powerful German spy during World War 1.

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(dialogue), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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The career of a waitress takes off when she meets an amiable drunken Hollywood producer.

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Although the British upper class may be thought our betters in society, but they are certainly not our betters, and perhaps our equals, in morality.

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Cast

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William Holden ...
William Courtenay ...
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Lady Catherine Chamberlain
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General Hewlett
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Storyline

A beautiful British intelligence agent attempts to reveal the identity and motives of a powerful German spy during World War 1.

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Drama

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Release Date:

26 August 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agent Z 1  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was remade in 1940 under the title "British Intelligence" starring Boris Karloff and Margaret Lindsay and adapted to take place during WWII. See more »

Connections

Version of Three Faces East (1926) See more »

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User Reviews

 
creaky
3 October 2014 | by See all my reviews

I am a huge Constance Bennett fan, and I have two great stories about her that I'll put at the end of the review. "Three Faces East" is from 1930, based on a play, and directed by Roy del Ruth.

Bennett plays a British agent in World War I. She is sent to London to capture a major German spy named Blecher. While staying in the house of one of the government heads near London, she realizes that the butler (von Stroheim) is a German agent, so she identifies herself as one to gain his confidence. He falls for her. He explains to her that the safe needs to be broken into nightly to see the movement of troops. Then one of the sons in the family returns home (she is supposedly the girlfriend of the other son), and he remembers seeing her during one of the conflicts, working as a nurse. Meanwhile, the butler comes under suspicion as a spy, and the circumstances become complicated.

Early sound films like this are often stilted affairs, as this one is, with people over-enunciating (Bennett seems to do this) and speaking more slowly than necessary so that the dialogue has no rhythm. It's almost comical, with the son referring to his parents as Mater and Pater. Today the acting seems overdone in spots, but that was the style; after all, a lot of the talkies actors came from the stage.

My two Constance Bennett stories: one from David Niven, who said that she was so beautiful that she could go into a room in the evening, play cards all night, come out of the room at 6 a.m. and look exactly the same. I believe it.

The other story is a funny one from one of her husbands, who nearly died while drowning. He and Bennett were divorced, but he claimed that Constance saved his life. While drowning, he had an image of her in black, sobbing, and saying, "My poor Henri," very dramatically, and garnering lots of sympathy. He said to himself, "I'm not going to let her get away with it," and managed to save himself.

All in all, "Three Faces East" is a real antique. It was remade with Boris Karloff in 1940.


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