7.1/10
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8 user 4 critic

The Two-Headed Spy (1958)

This movie is based on a true story as written in A.P. Scotland's autobiography "The London Cage". The plot has greatly exaggerated the actual events of A.P. Scotland's experiences, including the addition of a fictional love interest.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gen. Alex Schottland
...
Lili Geyr
Erik Schumann ...
Lt. Reinisch
...
Gestapo Leader Müller
...
Cornaz
...
Edward Underdown ...
...
Gen. Hauser
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Dietz
Kenneth Griffith ...
Robert Crewdson ...
1st Gestapo Agent
...
Gestapo Agent
Harriette Johns ...
Karen Corscher
Martin Benson ...
Gen. Wagner
Victor Woolf ...
Pawnbroker
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Storyline

World War II spy thriller supposedly based on true story. British secret agent successfully infiltrates Nazi military, achieves rank of general during WWII. He gains full confidence of entire Nazi high command, including Fuhrer Adolf Hitler himself, save one suspecting German officer. All the while the spy passes war-winning information to Allies assisted by two loyal Berlin contacts, first a man then a nightclub singer. A war drama with love-interest relationship and a cliffhanger finale. Also memorable is frightening Adolf Hitler always portrayed from behind, face unseen but with snarling, tyrannical voice. Written by Arthur_2323

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The British Master Spy Who Became Hitler's Favourite General ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 February 1959 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Chef de réseau  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Denis Gifford in his article "Who do you think you are kidding Mr Hitler?" from the film history tome 'The Movie', this film was the first British film made after World War II to feature Adolph Hitler as a character. See more »

Goofs

Use of reel to reel tape recorder. While Americans may believe tape recording was a post-war development, it is a fact that Germany had built and developed practical tape recorders in the 1940's. They were used in both military and broadcasting situations. After the war, the Ampex corporation was given the German technology as a reward for their war work and they began to manufacture tape recorders in the US. The Ampex model 300 was a very close copy of the German production unit. Some industry journals even suggested that Ampex sold existing units seized from German warehouses before they began manufacture. However, the unit shown in the film is not an Ampex 300 and it is unlikely that German tape would be mounted on plastic reels as shown. See more »

Soundtracks

Only One For Me
Written by Peter Hart
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User Reviews

 
for the record
14 March 2012 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

I have nothing much to add to the reviews already here, but that I loved the film. Stylish, beautifully paced, and remarkably suspenseful, it features an intriguingly controlled and flawlessly nuanced performance by Jack Hawkins, who makes you believe it possible that a British agent, hidden for twenty years, could exist undercover at the highest levels of the Third Reich. And as a sign of the 1958 that produced "The Two-Headed Spy," most revealing of the relationships between international film interests that the blacklisted Michael Wilson and Alfred Levitt were denied credit as scriptwriters in a British film because of its U.S. release by Columbia.

However, for the record, I would like to correct a remark made by oxbridgeup from New Hampshire, who took issue with the use of tape recording in a scene, stating that it was not invented until 1947. Tape recording had actually been invented in Germany in the 1930s; it was used extensively in radio stations and by the Gestapo, most effectively as a tool to issue simultaneous statements by Hitler to units at all the various military fronts to give the Fuhrer the illusion of omnipresence. 1947 is the year the technology was introduced in the United States, and was patented by a group funded by Bing Crosby, who saw the potential in the format. An American audio engineer who, while assigned to the U.S. Army Signal Corps, had absconded with two of the pioneering German Magnetophon recorders (and numerous IG Farben magnetic tapes) at WWII's end, presented the technology to MGM and Crosby. Before this forming of Ampex, Farben had held the rights for magnetic tape (originally patented in the '20s as a long paper strip with an iron oxide coating) and AEG for recording/playing decks and their improvements -- most significantly, AC tape bias and stereophonic recording. Farben was, of course, dissolved in 1945 because of its cooperation with the Nazi regime (and notorious production of Xyklon-B), thus leaving its patents for the taking. How the AEG patents were voided is a mystery to me, but perhaps some knowledgeable reader might enlighten us.


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