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British Intelligence (1940)

Approved | | Romance, Thriller, War | 29 January 1940 (USA)
Although the home of cabinet minister Arthur Bennett is a hotbed of spies, moles, and double agents, no one knows the true identity of notorious German spymaster Strendler.

Director:

(as Terry Morse)

Writers:

(screen play), (based on a play ['Two Faces East'] by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Helene von Lorbeer
...
...
James Yeats
...
Arthur Bennett
Austin Fairman ...
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Storyline

During WWI pretty German master spy Helene von Lorbeer is sent undercover to London to live with the family of a high-placed British official where she is to rendezvous with the butler Valdar, also a spy, and help him transmit secret war plans back to Germany. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

29 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Enemy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 13 August 1918 and had 335 performances. It was produced by George M. Cohan and the cast included Frank Sheridan and Cora Witherspoon. See more »

Quotes

Helene Von Lorbeer, aka Frances Hautry: [hoping to meet Strendler] I'm so anxious to meet him, his work, his methods - a genius!
Valdar, aka Karl Schiller: No! A symbol of blind duty!
Helene Von Lorbeer, aka Frances Hautry: Or a complete patriot?
Valdar, aka Karl Schiller: Perhaps he has no soul, no conscience, nothing! He'd kill you or me - for duty!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The swelling of the end title music cuts off the end of Colonel Yates's final line. However, as he has just said "We will fight on" and is simply repeating "and on, and on, and on," it was likely not a mistake. See more »

Connections

Version of Three Faces East (1926) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compact spy thriller with excellent performances from Karloff and Lindsay
21 January 2012 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

As one spy to another, Boris Karloff offers some advice: "The only way to be someone you are not is to be that person always, even in the presence of friends." This is a picture that keeps us guessing—just who is each person? It's a clever and very entertaining wartime thriller in which no one's identity is clear.

Set in 1917, the action is presented as directly relevant to the current events of 1940; more than one speech steps aside from the actual plot and appeals to an audience who would know exactly what was meant by references to future wars and to future lunatics who would again want to take over the world. The film's final speaker actually turns straight on to the camera for his inspirational closing sentences—the kind of exhortation that was frequent in WWII era films, that we rarely if ever see in pictures from any other era, and that can be strangely stirring even at this great distance.

Boris Karloff and Margaret Lindsay are both excellent, especially in their scenes together: their eyes are wonderfully expressive as they watch each other, play their roles, calculate loyalties and next moves.

Favorite moment: the late scene at the center of which Karloff purrs, "Excellent. But I'm afraid it won't quite do."

Definitely a spy vs. spy quickie worth watching.


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