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Hotel Reserve (1944)

Approved | | Thriller | 28 June 1946 (USA)
A hunt for a spy, in an hotel in the South of France just before World War Two.


, (as Max Greene) | 1 more credit »


(adapted from the novel "Epitaph For A Spy" by), (adaptation)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Vadassy
Mme Suzanne Koch
Raymond Lovell ...
Robert Duclos
Julien Mitchell ...
Michel Beghin, intelligence chief
Andre Roux
Martin Miller ...
Walter Vogel
Clare Hamilton ...
Mary Skelton
Frederick Valk ...
Emil Schimler, alias Paul Heimberger
Odette Roux
Anthony Shaw ...
Major Anthony Chandon-Hartley
Laurence Hanray ...
Police Commissioner (as Lawrence Hanray)
David Ward ...
Henri Asticot
Valentine Dyall ...
Warren Skelton
Joseph Almas ...
Albert, the waiter (as Josef Almas)
Patricia Hayes ...


An Austrian medical student living and working in France is hauled in by the police while on holiday in the south of the country. Accused of espionage he is sent back to his hotel to find out who might really be the spy. Not only his freedom but his chance of becoming a French citizen rests on what he can uncover, Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

hotel | spy | france | based on novel | See All (4) »




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 June 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Epitaph for a Spy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The camera that Peter Vadassy uses is a Zeiss Ikon Contax. See more »


When Vadassy's film is examined in the viewer, positive images are seen, although they are referred to several times as negatives. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: A holiday...in France...before the war...yet even then the plane-trees and cypresses of the South cast shadows in the sun.

It happened in August 1938 ... See more »

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User Reviews

Tense British espionage thriller made during wartime WWII...
17 January 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

JAMES MASON finds himself in a very Alfred Hitchcock situation in HOTEL RESERVE, that of an innocent man suspected of being a spy and having to prove his innocence by cooperating with the authorities to nab the real espionage agent. Sound familiar? Hitchcock used the same sort of innocent man frame-up in many films, most notably NORTH BY NORTHWEST.

But what's missing here, as others have commented, is that Hitch's expert touch is missing from the direction. The plot even has an exciting ending where hero and villain are atop a tall building and we know which one is going to meet his demise--but it's rather well done, except that Hitchcock would have thrown in some added touches for an even tighter bit of suspense.

Mason is very good in the leading role as the man caught in what appears to be a trap, while staying at the Hotel Reserve, where he must survey all the other guests to determine which one may have gotten their hands on his camera by mistake. The plot never becomes too overburdened with subplots (as some of these thrillers do), so it's all told in a brief hour and nineteen minutes.

HERBERT LOM is effectively cast as the hot-headed villain, with PATRICIA MEDINA not having much to do as his docile wife, and LUCIE MANNHEIM makes almost no impression at all as Mason's love interest, providing little more than a pretty face and a blank stare.

The improbable entrapment of the killer by police is a minor quibble, as is his method of temporary escape--but other than that, it's an acceptable spy thriller.

Summing up: Taut and tense with occasional bits of humor, it establishes why James Mason became a favorite with British and American audiences.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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