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5 Fingers (1952)

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


(screenplay), (book), 1 more credit »
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Title: 5 Fingers (1952)

5 Fingers (1952) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Ulysses Diello
Countess Anna Staviska
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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

countess | valet | ambassador | turkey | nazi | See more »


Guilty of every sin that had a name! See more »


Drama | Thriller


See all certifications »




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Release Date:

22 February 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

5 Fingers  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 13, 1952 with James Mason reprising his film role. See more »


Foam in the Countess' beer while she talks with Count von Papen. See more »


Count Franz Von Papen: You could have counted on our protection.
Countess Anna Staviska: I understand you're protecting all of my estates and possessions in Poland. Who has them?
Count Franz Von Papen: Field Marshall Goering, I believe.
Countess Anna Staviska: Many of our German friends before the War would come as our guests to hunt wild pigs. I refused to invite Goering. I couldn't tolerate Goering killing a wild pig. It seemed too much like brother killing brother.
See more »

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 »


Featured in De Bazna à Diello, de la réalité à la fiction (2004) See more »


Flight of the Valkyries
Composed by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

23 January 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Supposedly based on a true story, a valet uses his position at British embassy to steal WWII secrets to sell to the Germans.

What a superbly tight script that stays on the compelling track the whole time. We watch lowly valet Diello (Mason) use nothing but wits and guts to outmaneuver both the British and the Germans. He's not a sympathetic lead character, always unusual for a Hollywood production (TCF). But you can't help admiring his ability to outwit the professionals, even if he is completely self-centered.

I get the feeling Diello sees himself as a natural born aristocrat denied that position by the fortunes of birth. So, by golly, he's going to use those talents to get the wealth and position he deserves, but which European society has denied him.

Mason is simply superb in a tailor-made part. He projects both the icy intelligence and curt politeness that the role requires. I sweated a bucket load when the cleaning lady rummages around the closet, while Diello photographs embassy secrets. If she finds the power switch, he's toast. Great scene.

Note too, how there're no obvious good guys-bad guys, also unusual for a WWII drama. The British are slightly favored, but at least the Germans aren't caricatured. It's more like one opportunist (Diello) is exploiting both sides impartially, and they're both after him.

Then too, what guy wouldn't lose his head over the delectable Darrieux, even a guy as calculating as Diello. All of which makes the ending one of the most ironically satisfying in movie annals. I'm betting this was one of the best films to come out of that spare movie year of 1952. So if you haven't seen it, do.

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