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The Spy in Black (1939)

 -  Thriller | War  -  7 October 1939 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 888 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 20 critic

A German submarine is sent to the Orkney Isles in 1917 to sink the British fleet.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Captain Hardt
Sebastian Shaw ...
Ashington
...
The School Mistress
Marius Goring ...
Schuster
...
Anne Burnett
Athole Stewart ...
The Rev. Hector Matthews
Agnes Lauchlan ...
Mrs. Matthews
Helen Haye ...
Mrs. Sedley
Cyril Raymond ...
The Rev. John Harris
George Summers ...
Captain Ratter
Hay Petrie ...
Engineer
Grant Sutherland ...
Bob Bratt
Robert Rendel ...
Admiral
Mary Morris ...
Chauffeuse
Margaret Moffatt ...
Kate
Edit

Storyline

When a German U-Boat captain is sent on a spying mission to the North of Scotland during World War One, he finds more than he bargained for in his contact, the local schoolmistress. Written by Ian Harries <ih@doc.ic.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Enemy U-Boat commander sails under orders of death! Lovers trapped in the cruel inferno of war! See more »

Genres:

Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 October 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Spy in Black  »

Box Office

Budget:

£47,300 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The password that Hardt is to use for his contact is the opening line of Heine's poem Die Lorelei, in which a beautiful woman who lures sailors on the rocks is used as a symbol of homesickness. When his crew joke about him spouting love poetry to a woman in the dark, they miss half of the point. See more »

Goofs

Identified in the credits and on her passport signature as "Anne Burnett", the newspaper report of the teachers' Orkneys appointment misnames her as "Ann Burnett", though this passes entirely without comment. See more »

Quotes

The Reverand John Harris: That medal ribbon. I don't seem to recognise it. What is it?
Captain Hardt: The Iron Cross... Second Class.
The Reverand John Harris: Second Class... then you must be a prisoner of war?
Captain Hardt: No.
[draws gun]
Captain Hardt: You are.
The Reverand John Harris: Oh dear.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: KIEL BASE OF THE GERMAN GRAND FLEET 1917 See more »

Connections

Referenced in Enigma (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

early Powell and Pressburger classic
8 March 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Here, Conrad Veidt (looking lovely in this) and Valerie Hobson (a little stiff) team for the first time in an unusual war thriller cum romance which uses its locations, script, actors, and pace to great effect. Even if you don't particularly like war films, this has more going on that you'd think, and repays more than one viewing. As an early P&P it does have hints of some of the classics to come - probably a closest link to 49th Parallel. An atmospheric film which dared, on the brink of real-life war, to have a German soldier who you do sympathise with, even if he brings his misfortunes on himself.


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