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I Was a Spy (1933)

 -  Drama | War  -  15 December 1933 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 94 users  
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During World War I, a young nurse in a hospital in German-occupied Belgium is secretly feeding military information to the British. Complicating matters is the guilt she feels when she has ... See full summary »

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Title: I Was a Spy (1933)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Herbert Marshall ...
Stephan
...
Commandant Oberaertz
...
Burgomaster
Gerald du Maurier ...
Doctor
Donald Calthrop ...
May Agate ...
Eva Moore ...
Canteen Ma
Martita Hunt ...
Aunt Lucille
...
Scottie
George Merritt ...
Captain Reichman
Anthony Bushell ...
Otto
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Storyline

During World War I, a young nurse in a hospital in German-occupied Belgium is secretly feeding military information to the British. Complicating matters is the guilt she feels when she has to treat the German casualties inflicted as a result of the information she's passed on, and the fact that the local German commandant is falling in love with her. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Genres:

Drama | War

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Release Date:

15 December 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Yo he sido espía  »

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1.37 : 1
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Referenced in Ulysses' Gaze (1995) See more »

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In Der Heimat
(uncredited)
Music by Josef Wattke
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User Reviews

 
A convincing, realistic cinematic rendition
27 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This briskly paced, highly suspenseful cinematic rendering of the war-time exploits of Martha Cnockhaert, a Belgian girl who reluctantly engaged in espionage work for the Allies during the Great War, is a must see for all who appreciate war films sans the usual cheap, one-sided displays of gratuitous propaganda masquerading as history that the various film factories seem to have a penchant for putting out. A great deal of the credit must go to director Victor Saville, who managed to refrain from incorporating any of the typically lurid tales of German atrocities allegedly perpetrated on the prostrate Belgians that had become the mainstay of the British disinformation network throughout the greater part of the war itself. The actual situation, as this film so ably depicts, was bad enough. For example, largely on account of the British naval blockade, the occupying Germans had to impose severe privations on the Belgian people who, as a result, were forced to hoard what little food there was for their own survival. Indeed, it was the witnessing of the constant abuse inflicted on her café-owning parents that spurred Martha to overcome her initial fear and enlist her services for the Belgian underground.

The beautiful Madeleine Carroll gives a convincing, at times deeply moving, portrait of the reluctant Belgian spy whose work as a volunteer nurse in a hospital for wounded Germans complicates her efforts to aid in their ultimate destruction. Indeed, ironically it is her dedicated work in relieving the suffering of war-- not to mention her exquisite beauty and charm- that endears her to the German commandant-- played by the great Conrad Veidt-- enabling her her to carry out more effectively her clandestine activities.

Perhaps the supreme irony of this film, however, resides in the fact that within 10 years, the woman who would play a volunteer nurse/spy in a movie would in real life give up her film career to volunteer as a real life Red Cross nurse in Italy during the sequel to the Great War. For that, Madeleine Carroll will, indeed, always be fondly remembered.


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