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British Intelligence (1940)

Approved  |   |  Romance, Thriller, War  |  29 January 1940 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 544 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 9 critic

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:
...
Valdar
...
Helene von Lorbeer
Bruce Lester ...
Frank Bennett
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
See  »
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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

[last lines]
Arthur Benneft: But, tell me, Yeats, these sacrifices we are all making - do you think they will eventually mean something to mankind?
Colonel James Yeats: I wish I were able to answer that question. We want to help humanity. We fight wars only because we crave peace so ardently and pray that each war will be the last. But always in the strange scheme of things some maniac with a lust for power arises and, in one moment, destroys the peace and tranquility we've created through the years. We hate war! We despise it, but...
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 (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Will the Real Dastardly German Spy Step Forward!

"British Intelligence, from 1940 when Britain was locked in deadly combat with Nazi Germany, tells a tale of German espionage in The Great War (aka The War to End All Wars). Well-acted and with a tricky plot that leaves the viewer guessing who is a loyal Brit and who is a Kaiser's spy, the one-hour film also delivers at beginning and end a hefty, grave propaganda message warning that those Germans can be trusted - to produce warmongering megalomaniacs.

Boris Karloff is Valdar, the butler/valet every man wants. Obsequious and efficient, he claims to be a refugee from war-scarred Euope, a fellow who has lost his family to the murdering Hun. He is ensconced in the home of a powerful Englishman who consorts with the cabinet. Projected into the household in a convenient but not necessarily convincing way is Helene von Lorbeer, played by the very pretty Margaret Lindsay who had a good run in both "A" and "B" pictures in the 30s and 40s before she decided to fatten up thus losing her screen sex appeal.

Helene under another name was a nurse in a British field hospital and she took care of the wounded RFC pilot son of the man in whose home she is now a guest. They fall in love but she can't let him know that since she's a Florence Nightingale with a Mata Hari mission. Of course the recovered pilot returns home to find her there.

British Intelligence desperately needs to terminate a German master spy, Strengler. Who is he? How is he able to glean military secrets before, as one exasperated senior officer exclaims, junior officers are even briefed on the operational plans.

What follows is a fairly taut cat and mouse game seeking the deadly spy.

It's good fun, nice acting. Director Terry O. Morse, who edited more films than he directed, did a better than average job here.

Dated, of course, but that's part of its charm. I wonder if London moviegoers in 1940 needed to be exhorted by speeches denouncing the depraved Boche. Probably not but I'm sure they appreciated Karloff and Lindsay.

7/10


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