During WWII the valet to the British Ambassador to Ankara sells British secrets to the Germans while trying to romance a refugee Polish countess.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Colin Travers
Walter Hampden ...
Sir Frederic Taylor
Oskar Karlweis ...
L. C. Moyzisch
Herbert Berghof ...
Col. von Richter
...
Ben Astar ...
Siebert (as A. Ben Astar)
Roger Plowden ...
Keith Macfadden
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Storyline

Based on a true story. In neutral Turkey during WWII, the ambitious and extremely efficient valet for the British ambassador tires of being a servant and forms a plan to promote himself to rich gentleman of leisure. His employer has many secret documents; he will photograph them, and with the help of a refugee Countess, sell them to the Nazis. When he makes a certain amount of money, he will retire to South America with the Countess as his wife. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of the highest-paid spy in history! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

22 February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Operation Cicero  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Hathaway was first considered to direct. Micheline Presle and Alida Valli were approached for the role of Countess Staviska. See more »

Goofs

When the Britsh ambassador's valet Diello (Brit James Mason) suggests that his new German spymaster change the combination on the latter's safe, he gives the existing combination 1-30-33 as based on the date of Hitler's rise to power, suggesting instead 6-18-15, the date of the Battle of Waterloo. One would expect an employee of the Britsh Embassy (particularly one born in the UK) to have used "European" notation (date/month/year) instead of US notation (month/day/year), particularly when speaking with a German. See more »

Quotes

Ulysses Diello: [to Moyzisch] ... and please don't have me followed. You Germans have no talent for it. You keep wanting to get ahead of the people you follow.
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Crazy Credits

Before the movie title: This is a true story. All the exterior scenes in this picture were filmed in the locales associated with the story. See more »

Connections

Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: Operation Cicero (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Ride of the Valkyries
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

Excellent all around
27 August 2001 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

This film is far from forgotten. Fans of James Mason and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz know it well. It's one of the most intelligent spy thrillers ever thanks to an Oscar-winning screenplay by Michael Wilson ("Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia," and the original "Planet of the Apes"). It also has a score by Bernard Herrmann. What else do you need? Other comments here have told what the plot is, so all I'll say is I envy you if haven't seen it yet and plan to. It's gripping and enjoyable all the way, and wonderfully ironic.


21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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