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International Lady (1941)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Drama | 16 October 1941 (USA)
The film opens with a German air-raid over the skies of London, and moves to the attempts of the F.B.I. and Scotland Yard investigators trying to circumvent the attempts of a sabotage ring ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Francis Pierlot ...
Dr. Rowan
Charles D. Brown ...
Marjorie Gateson ...
Bertha Grenner
Leyland Hodgson ...
Sergeant Moulton
Frederick Worlock ...
Sir Henry
Desk Clerk


The film opens with a German air-raid over the skies of London, and moves to the attempts of the F.B.I. and Scotland Yard investigators trying to circumvent the attempts of a sabotage ring dedicated to impeding the flow of American airplanes and flying fortresses to Britain(on FDR's Lend-Lease program since the United States was not yet at war against Germany and Italy.) Tim Hanley is an American agent, posing as a lawyer connected with the United States Embassy in London, and Reggie Oliver, a Scotland Yard detective, posing as a music critic, who has a hard time understanding American slang. Both are keeping their eye on Carla Nillson, a famous singer, whom they suspect of espionage. They all meet in London, then in Lisbon, and eventually in New York City, where Carla sings on the radio under the auspices and sponsorship of Siudney Grenner, a wealthy candy manufacturer, who is in reality the head of the sabotage gang. Miss Nillson may or may not know that some of the songs she sings ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cinquième bureau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'George Brent' to refers to Basil Rathbone as "Sherlock" about half way through the movie. Rathbone had already made a couple of Sherlock Holmes movies and was scheduled to make several more. See more »


Referenced in Let's Go to the Movies (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Suspicion, intrigue and a touch of romance in film prior to WW2 years
24 January 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

What a pleasant surprise to accidentally tune in to this movie on late night television, a film totally unknown to me.

Ilona Massey is the sophisticated spy, Carla Nillson, in this suspenseful drama who succeeds in subtle deceptions throughout by camouflaging her real identity behind her singing engagements and exquisite good looks, a beauty that ordinarily puts her beyond suspicion. But it doesn't last. George Brent (as Tim Hanley) and Basil Rathbone (as Reggie Oliver) are federal agents who become alerted to her actions and pursue the trail of her activities.

She displays a beautiful singing voice in a few instances. It's quite ingenious of her as a spy to pass on messages of important information through her singing in a foreign language for radio broadcast during an evening soirée. Her sheet music subsequently comes under considerable scrutiny, something about sabotage, etc. and is painstakingly dissected to break the code. And so the story unfolds. Eventually she is suspected of serious incriminating activity and must face the consequences.

Ah, to be blonde and beautiful! I remember as a youngster seeing her in a comedy film where she was walking on an elevated fence wall with the wind blowing her evening gown seductively. I always thought of her as surrounded in mystery, such are the memories of a young mind.

George Brent as always plays the suave romantic lead, attentive and caring. And leave it to Basil Rathbone to get caught up in the intrigue firsthand! It's nice to see a youngish Gene Lockhart, here as Sidney Grenner, involved in the plotting and scheming.

The story does hold one's attention to the end, wondering how it will be resolved. All in all, a very good early movie prior to the onset of the war films that followed. Well worth watching.

I can only wonder why they don't have this available on video. It would be great to have it in one's collection.

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