5.8/10
1,995
28 user 13 critic

The Secret Agent (1996)

London of the late 19th century is a haven for political exiles of all sorts - refugees, partisans, anarchists. Verloc has made his living spying for the Russian government, an agent ... See full summary »
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Verloc
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...
Ossipon
...
...
...
Mr. Michaelis
...
Ralph Nossek ...
Yundt
Neville Phillips ...
Ticket Clerk
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Winnie's Mother
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The Driver
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The Assistant Commissioner
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Storyline

London of the late 19th century is a haven for political exiles of all sorts - refugees, partisans, anarchists. Verloc has made his living spying for the Russian government, an agent provocateur of sorts, while simultaneously providing information to the London police, specifically Chief Inspector Heat. When the new Russian ambassador demands he prove his worth or lose his salary, Verloc sets off a tragic chain of events that involves his pretty young wife Winnie, her intellectually disabled brother Stevie, and a figure called the Professor, whose fascination with explosives and destruction makes him the person to call on when Verloc needs a bomb. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some moments of violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$106,606 (USA) (31 December 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes four Oscar winners: Robin Williams, Patricia Arquette, Jim Broadbent and Christian Bale; and two Oscar nominees: Gérard Depardieu and Bob Hoskins. See more »

Quotes

Stevie: Then... then what... what are they there for, Winnie?
Winnie: The police are there so as them as have nothing can't take nothing away from them as have a lot.
See more »

Connections

Version of Sabotage (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Boring secret agents
13 March 2007 | by (Hungary) – See all my reviews

Whoever cares about international terrorism? It's just a boring subject, let's face it. Any objections? Well, I can understand if there are some. This film, however, might unexpectedly make you accept the truth of the above provocative statements. At least until the next time you zap to a TV news channel that is.

It's hard not to see awesome potential in doing an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 'The Secret Agent'. And it's hard to believe such a boring and inconsequential mess could be created following up on that very idea. Incredible, just think of the following issues explored in the movie: a web of anarchist militants finding political refuge in 1880s London, an agent provocateur run by the Russian embassy, a would-be suicide bomber, human drama complicating plots and counter-plots and so on. If I managed to excite you a little by mentioning these themes, so sorry, the film will still be boring.

To say something positive, at least it's not altogether unwatchable and, totally unexpectedly for me, the scenes between two actors from whom I would have normally anticipated the least were actually some of the best moments of the film, the scenes between Robin Williams and Gérard Depardieu, both playing anarchists with a rather mysterious (anarchic?) mindset. Oh, and it's quite likely I'll read the book after all, for what I have seen at least was enough to convince me that it might be a good idea.


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