During the first world war, novelist Edgar Brodie is sent to Switzerland by the Intelligence Service. He has to kill a German agent. During the mission he meets a fake general first and then Elsa Carrington who helps him in his duty. Written by
Claudio Sandrini <email@example.com>
Alfred Hitchcock convinced John Gielgud to play the lead by describing the hero as a modern-day Hamlet. Gielgud, however, ended up hating that his character was an enigma and felt Hitchcock made the villain more charming than the hero. See more »
When the little dog is scratching at the door, he is facing
left and is in front of the right-side door. When the elderly lady then (immediately) picks up the dog, he is facing right and is in front of the left-side door. See more »
Oh, I'm to have an assistant, am I?
Yes, and in the circumstances, a very useful one. We call him the "Hairless Mexican".
Well, chiefly because he's got a lot of curly hair and isn't a Mexican. You can call him The General. He isn't a general, but he'll appreciate the compliment.
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This, in my opinion, is one of the master's best early films, so good, in fact, that it begs for repeat viewing. That is the only way I know to absorb the subtle verbal repartees (observe the fascinating expressions and body language of Madeleine Carroll as she repeatedly defends herself from the blandishments of the affable American played by Robert Young); the hilarious malapropisms and convoluted syntax courtesy of the unpredictably eccentric Peter Lorre (there is good reason to believe this was unfeigned because Mr. Lorre, a Hungarian by birth who had achieved a well-deserved reputation as a chilling screen presence in German cinema before leaving for England following the National Socialist take-over, had not yet mastered the nuances of the English language); the classic understatement by that most aristocratic of all British actors, John Gielgud; and for those of us who never tire gazing at the incomparably beautiful Madeleine (Elsa) Carroll, the camera angles finally do justice to her divinely-wrought features (she also delivers her usual elegantly controlled performance). And, of course, there is all of the excitement and suspense one comes to expect from the great Alfred Hitchcock... Needless to say, I highly recommend this film.
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