A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
While holidaying in Switzerland, Lawrence and his wife Jill are asked by a dying friend, Louis Bernard, to get information hidden in his room to the British Consulate. They get the information, but when they deny having it, their daughter Betty is kidnapped. It turns out that Louis was a Foreign Office spy and the information has to do with the assassination of a foreign dignitary. Having managed to trace his daughter's kidnappers back to London, Lawrence learns that the assassination will take place during a concert at the Albert Hall. It is left to Jill, however, to stop the assassination. Written by
When Peter Lorre arrived in Great Britain, his first meeting with a British director was with Alfred Hitchcock. By smiling and laughing as Hitchcock talked, the director was unaware that Lorre, a Hungarian, had a limited command of the English language. Hitchcock subsequently decided to cast Lorre in this film, and the young actor learned much of his part phonetically. See more »
When the two police officers are preparing to shoot out the window, the blind suddenly goes up even though neither man had touched it. See more »
Tell her they may soon be leaving us. Leaving us for a long, long journey. How is it that Shakespeare says? "From which no traveler returns." Great poet.
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If ever a film was in need of restoration it's this. Ironically one of the easiest Hitchcock films to see (because it's in public domain, you can usually pick up a copy in the drugstore for about $3), it's also impossible to find a print of it that's not hideous to look at and practically inaudible. For now, it still looks like the best film of Hitchcock's British Primitive period. Avoiding the clumsiness endemic to the likes of "Secret Agent" and "Blackmail" by pretty much dispensing altogether with character development or a comprehensible plot, it travels like "North by Northwest" along a series of loosely linked set pieces that without adding up to much provide an entertaining and intriguing passing show. Considerably jazzing up the proceedings is the zaftig, boyish young Peter Lorre, who with decadent charm (and not for the first or last time) transforms the putative villain into the tragic hero of the piece.
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