6.2/10
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11 user 5 critic

British Agent (1934)

Not Rated | | Drama, History, Romance | 15 September 1934 (USA)
It's 1917. In Russia, the Communist revolution is in full swing. Stephen 'Steve' Locke is a British agent in Russia. The main task of Steve is to prevent the Bolsheviks, led by Joseph ... See full summary »

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(book), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bob Medill
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Gaston LeFarge
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Sergei Pavlov
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Poohbah Evans (as Ivan Simpson)
Halliwell Hobbes ...
Sir Walter Carrister
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Commissioner of War Trotsky (as J. Carroll Naish)
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Under Secretary Stanley
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Tito Del Val
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Mr. Henry Farmer
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Paul DeVigney
...
Mr. X
...
...
Lady Carrister
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Storyline

It's 1917. In Russia, the Communist revolution is in full swing. Stephen 'Steve' Locke is a British agent in Russia. The main task of Steve is to prevent the Bolsheviks, led by Joseph Stalin, to sign in Petrograd a separate treaty with the Germans. Germany had been at war with its neighbors. Steve has to deal with Elena Moura, the attractive secretary of Lenin and spy too. Steve falls in love with Elena. Written by Robert

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 September 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brutal Agent  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

41 different sets were constructed for the film; there were 1500 cast members; 3000 rounds of ammunition was shot in the riot scenes. See more »

Quotes

Bob Medill: [after seeing the gypsy singer throw back a glass of vodka] If her eyes don't water after that, she can't possibly be a good girl.
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User Reviews

 
"never mix business with pleasure" - but this film is an exception to the rule
13 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

"British Agent" succeeds in being both thought-provoking, and emotionally engaging. It would've been easy to lose the characters in the history lesson, but, fortunately, even the supporting cast make an impression and make you care about what happens to them. There is genuine tension, and grief at the deaths which occur. I thought there was a good balance between expository dialogue and action scenes, as well.

True, at 80 minutes the story is rushed - it could've been a bit longer, especially to give more depth to the relationship that develops between Steve (Leslie Howard) and Elena (Kay Francis). They seem to declare love rather quickly. However, thanks to the good actors involved, it's not too implausible. One feels sympathy for all the characters, and understanding of both sides - no small feat, considering the opposing political views.

This film provides an effective introductory history lesson, a relatively unbiased portrayal of two different countries/ideologies, and a gripping love story. It's not easy to juggle all these elements into a cohesive whole, but I believe "British Agent" does a fine job of educating *and* entertaining. Sometimes you *can* mix business with pleasure.


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