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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
...
Dietz
Kenneth Griffith ...
...
1st Gestapo Agent
...
Gestapo Agent
Harriette Johns ...
Karen Corscher
...
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

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Details

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Release Date:

16 February 1959 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Chef de réseau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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

Several transitional scenes (staff car traveling on the autobahn, refugees streaming through Berlin) are used more than once. See more »

Soundtracks

Only One For Me
Written by Peter Hart
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User Reviews

 
Very good 'What If?' spy plot in WW II
21 February 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The opening scene of "the two-Headed Spy" has a script that dedicates the film. It reads, "To those men of the Intelligence Service who worked in secrecy. Who struggled and died in darkness. To those lonely and courageous men who risked their lives daily in the enemy camp. This picture is dedicated. And, to one of those men, Colonel A. P. Scotland, O.B.E., British Intelligence Service, whose exploits over the past half century inspired this story. We wish to express our thanks."

Indeed, the background of Alexander Scotland is very interesting. Here was an early implementer of interrogation methods, as well as a highly experienced spy. That's a story worth looking into. Scotland served as adviser for this film. While he had posed as lower ranking German officers and NCOs in World War I and at other times, he said he never was a high-ranking German official. Yet, when one notices some similarities in this film, it does raise a question.

This film stars Jack Hawkins in a fictitious plot as just such a British spy. Gen. Alex Schotland was a British agent who served in the German Army of WW I. But, unlike most in the espionage business, after the war he didn't come out. He stayed in Germany, kept his military affiliation and identity, and when the Nazis began a rise to power, he jumped on the train.

This is a very good and interesting look at how such high level direct espionage might have looked. One quickly comes to the conclusion that the best way to advance and get on the good graces inside the Nazi hierarchy was to agree with Hitler and promise that his every command could be carried out. Especially, if that went against the reasoned, experienced generals, regardless of how bad was Hitler's position. Anyway, that's how Schottland does it here.

A distant romantic connection is provided by Gia Scala who plays Lili Geyr, a renowned German singer and entertainer of troops. The story has an interesting ending. Scala made a few very good films and had a promising career in movies and television. But, she suffered from depression and began drinking heavily. She underwent frequent psychiatric treatment. On April 30, 1972, she died from an overdose of alcohol and sleeping pills.


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