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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.



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

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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Kassell
Attorney Kellogg
Hilda Kleinhauer
Erika Wolf
Grace Stafford ...
Mrs. Schneider
British Military Intelligence Agent
Hedwiga Reicher ...
Mrs. Kassell (as Celia Sibelius)
Werner Renz
Krogman (as Sig Rumann)
Lionel Royce ...
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ...
Helldorf (as Hans von Twardowski)


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


THEY don't want you to see this picture!


Drama | War


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 May 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Confessione di una spia nazista  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On Manday, July 3, 1939, Warner's legal department advised company's theaters that "Confessions of a Nazi Spy" must not be publicized as "based on the book written by Leon G. Turrou." See more »


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 »


[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 »


Spoofed in Confusions of a Nutzy Spy (1943) See more »


German National Anthem (Das Lied der Deutschen)
(1797) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Haydn
Played at the New York Bund rally
Reprised at the rally in Stuttgart, Germany
See more »

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User Reviews

Taken from the files of the FBI
26 May 2000 | by (Walnut Creek, CA) – See all my reviews

According to the host of "Turner Classic Movies", this movie is based on F.B.I. files. I also learned that the theatrical release of "Confessions of a Nazi Spy" almost resulted an international incident that might have caused America's premature entrance into World War II, two years before the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. I've seen documentaries about the activities of the German-American Bundt and can tell you that this movie has the frightening ring of authenticity. Well worth seeing if you can't get a hold of documentaries on the subject.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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