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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 by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Helene von Lorbeer
Bruce Lester ...
Leonard Mudie ...
James Yeats
Holmes Herbert ...
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

Plot Keywords:

spy | german | mole | double agent | butler | See All (62) »

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

Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Sidney Bracey (Crowder), Jack Mower (Morton), Gordon Hart (Doctor) and John Sutton (Officer). The voice of the man in the car bringing home Frank Bennett sounded a bit like Sutton, but he was not fully on camera and could not be identified. 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

Very Good For Its Genre
11 January 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This is very good for its genre, with an interesting story, solid atmosphere, and two good leading performances from Boris Karloff and Margaret Lindsay. Made during the early part of the Second World War (when England was enduring constant air assaults and other threats), and set during the First World War, there is an obvious patriotic slant to it. But aside from a short speech by one of the characters at the end of the movie, it mostly allows the story and characters to stand on their own.

Karloff and Lindsay star as two very resourceful spies who are planted in the home of a prominent English family, with most of the story revolving around whether they are spies on behalf of England or on behalf of Germany. Karloff is, of course, especially good in a part like this, giving his character a believably ingratiating manner in his cover role as a butler, and a steely eye in his unguarded moments. He makes it easy to believe that his character can keep everyone else in the dark.

Lindsay gets one of her best roles, and she makes full use of it. Her character obviously has weapons much different from those of Karloff's character, and she too is believable in keeping the others, even Karloff, guessing.

The story moves at a good pace, and it features several good turns as it builds up the tension. Like many movies of this kind, there are places here and there where it could have been improved. In particular, its portrayal of Britain as a traitor-riddled society threatened with imminent collapse shows the strong influence of the frightening times in which it was filmed. But in its time it probably provided some genuine encouragement, and today it still remains an enjoyable movie that is well worth the time to see.


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