6.8/10
1,121
33 user 7 critic

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Approved | | Drama, War | 6 May 1939 (USA)
FBI agent Ed Renard investigates the pre-War espionage activities of the German-American Bund.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
4 wins. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Simon Templar, the Saint, travels to San Francisco to solve crime mysteries within the police department.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Nan Masters, a single mother living with her four marriageable daughters, plans to marry Sam Sloane, businessman. Out of the blue her 1st husband Jim returns after deserting the family 20 ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Garfield, Claude Rains, Jeffrey Lynn
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

British Commander Max Easton fakes his defection to the Soviets in order to sue the slandering newspapers for the money he needs to woo a fancy American woman.

Director: Guy Hamilton
Stars: James Mason, George Sanders, Vera Miles
Framed (1947)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Mike Lambert, seeking a mining job, instead becomes the patsy for a femme-fatale's schemes.

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: Glenn Ford, Janis Carter, Barry Sullivan
Lured (1947)
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A serial killer in London is murdering young women he meets through the personal columns of newspapers. He announces each of his murders to the police by sending them a cryptic poem. After ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: George Sanders, Lucille Ball, Charles Coburn
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal.

Director: Robert Montgomery
Stars: James Cagney, Dennis Weaver, Ward Costello
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Chorus girl Eadie is determined to marry a millionaire without sacrificing her virtue.

Directors: Jack Conway, Sam Wood
Stars: Jean Harlow, Franchot Tone, Lionel Barrymore
Drama | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The secretary of an affably suave radio mystery host mysteriously commits suicide after his wealthy young niece disappears.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Claude Rains, Joan Caulfield, Audrey Totter
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman pretends to be royalty in order to get aboard a cruise ship.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Douglass Dumbrille
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When Clementi Suborin is found murdered, his secretary recounts to the police the story of his rise from Czech refugee to ultra-rich New Yorker. The tale of betrayal, womanising and fraud ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Martin
Stars: George Sanders, Yvonne De Carlo, Zsa Zsa Gabor
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Dying Joan Ames meets criminal Dan Hardesty on a luxury liner as he is being transported back to America by policeman Steve Burke to face execution. Joan and Dan fall in love, their fates unbeknownst to one another.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Merle Oberon, George Brent, Pat O'Brien
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When the murdered body discovered by beautiful, vivacious socialite Melsa Manton disappears, police and press label her a prankster until she proves them wrong.

Director: Leigh Jason
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Schneider
...
Schlager
...
Dr. Kassell
...
Attorney Kellogg
...
Hilda Kleinhauer
...
Erika Wolf
...
Mrs. Schneider
...
British Military Intelligence Agent
...
Mrs. Kassell (as Celia Sibelius)
...
Werner Renz
...
Krogman (as Sig Rumann)
Lionel Royce ...
Hintze
...
Wildebrandt
...
Helldorf (as Hans von Twardowski)
Edit

Storyline

Prior to the United States entry into World War II, Nazi spies try to steal American military secrets. Among those whose passions are roused is Kurt Schneider who was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the US Army. Schneider is not very bright and is easily swayed by the oratory of Dr. Karl Kassel, a prominent physician who is eventually made the head of the Nazi spy ring. When Schneider's contact is arrested in Scotland, the US military asks the FBI to root out the spies. Agent Edward Renard is put in charge of the case and they methodically arrest all who have been spying. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY don't want you to see this picture!

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

6 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Confessione di una spia nazista  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the book "The Films of World War II" by Joe Morella, Edward Z. Epstein and John Griggs, "While this Warner Bros. film was not as sensational as its advance publicity led audiences of the day to expect, it was, nevertheless, the first out-and-out anti-Nazi film from a major American studio . . . [it] made its point by sticking closely to the facts of a real-life spy trial which had involved high officials in the [German Third] Reich as well as their American operatives . . . This film was instrumental in bringing about the 'Hollywood war-mongering' charges. Actors and producers received murder threats. American-based German officials screamed 'conspiracy!' and the film was subsequently banned by countries who feared offending Germany. In the United States, however, it was a popular success, prompting other studios to hurry production of more anti-Hitler films." See more »

Goofs

In one scene there is a large sign on a fence reading, "Fort Wentworth Base Hospital." The Army does not refer to its installations as "bases." A correct sign would have read "Post Hospital." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Some months ago, various persons appeared in the federal courts of New York City and the Panama Canal Zone, charged with the crime of espionage against the armed forces of the United States. Called to the witness stand, they swore to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God". The story brought out at those trials is stranger than fiction, revealing the existence of a vast spy ring operating against the naval, military, and air forces of the United...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Angry Screen (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

America the Beautiful
(1910) (uncredited)
Music by Samuel A. Ward (1882)
Played as background music at the end
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Pretty exciting and rather brave as well
25 July 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

In 1939, most Americans really could have cared less about the war clouds in Europe. In hindsight, most Americans felt our intervention in WWI was a mistake and now a strong sense of isolationism permeated the country. Because of this, most American films ignored that there was a Nazi Germany or took a very neutral attitude (such as in IDIOT'S DELIGHT and CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS). However, by about 1939, a few domestic film studios finally began showing the Nazis as "the bad guys" and CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY was one of the first. Even the wonderful STORM WARNING (probably the best Hollywood anti-Nazi films made before America joined the war) didn't appear for another year. Because of this, CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY is a very brave film--showing the Nazis as evil and bent on warfare against America.

The film is an espionage film and the first half is told solely from the viewpoint of Nazi agents living in America. The star of the film. FBI agent Edward G. Robinson, doesn't even appear until about the midway point--at which point the US government springs into action to root out these traitors. It is all told in a very realistic and believable manner--mostly because it was based on a real pre-war case in the US. Exciting, well acted (with many underplayed roles despite how easily the whole thing could have been portrayed) and stirring--this is a great film.

By the way, although the film was made in 1939, the version just recently shown on Turner Classic Movies must have had additional pieces added sometime after 1939--as they talk about the fall of Norway and Holland--something that did not occur until 1940.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?