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Spies (1928)

Spione (original title)
Not Rated | | Romance , Thriller | 10 March 1929 (USA)
The mastermind behind a ubiquitous spy operation learns of a dangerous romance between a Russian lady in his employ and a dashing agent from the government's secret service.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Thea von Harbou (novel), Fritz Lang | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Haghi
Gerda Maurus ... Sonya Baranilkowa
Lien Deyers ... Kitty
Louis Ralph Louis Ralph ... Hans Morrier - Hans Morriera, English version
Craighall Sherry Craighall Sherry ... Burton Jason / Miles Jason
Willy Fritsch ... No. 326 - Det. Donald Tremaine, English version
Paul Hörbiger ... Franz - Chauffeur
Hertha von Walther Hertha von Walther ... Lady Leslane
Lupu Pick ... Dr. Masimoto - Matsumoto, English version
Fritz Rasp ... Col. Jellusic - Ivan Stepanov, English version
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Storyline

Haghi is a criminal mastermind whose ubiquitous spy operation is always several steps ahead of the police and the government's secret service. Enter Agent 326, the daring and dashing young man, who thinks his disguise as a dirty, bearded vagrant is fooling the unknown mastermind and his minions. But Haghi is well aware of 326's existence and what he looks like. Enter Sonya, a Russian lady in Haghi's employ. Haghi wants Sonya to subvert the efforts of the government agent, but doesn't count on her falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Haghi is anxious to get his hands on a Japanese peace treaty in the possession of the cunning Doctor Masimoto, whose mistress is also in his employ. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

10 March 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gerda Maurus, whose film debut this was and who met Fritz Lang for the first time here, later had a long relationship with the director, eventually causing his divorce from Thea von Harbou, who remained his regular co-author up until The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933), Lang's last German film before emigrating to the US. See more »

Goofs

It seems odd that Haghi, a man "richer than Ford" and who enthusiastically adopts new technologies judging by his office equipment, hand rolls his own cigarettes when commercially manufactured ones had been available for decades. See more »

Quotes

Haghi: Curtain -!
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User Reviews

 
Dazzling Lang spy film prototype: I never felt the time passing
23 July 2005 | by Joseph_GillisSee all my reviews

Freqently throughout its 146 minutes, I found myself thinking: now where have I seen that before? Because, clearly, Alfred Hitchcock studied this 'zinger' carefully before making "The 39 Steps": not only that, but I suspect he also incorporated elements of it in at least half a dozen other of his British films.

146 minutes, I said, but, while some of the early scenes in the first hour or so are somewhat repetitive, and studio-bound, once Lang cranks up the suspense,....and this is where the influences for Hitchcock were plain to see,.....you really had to hang on to your seat.

The plot, despite its labyrinthine twists and turns, is 'yer common-or-garden Dr Mabuse, mad evil genius type' set for World domination. Of course it does have an endearing,....(yes '39 Steps'again),.... romantic sideline, which doesn't at all detract from the pacing or suspense.

But this isn't "The Magic Mountain"..nor even 'M' with its deeper psychological overtones..you're not meant to delve deeply into it: its pure hokum, meant for enjoyment

There are some dazzling scenes: the dance/boxing-ring; the climactic 'race against time' scenes in the bank; .....ahem,.........the 'literally', breakneck-paced train scenes; that truly surreal, but riveting, ending.

And, of course,Rudolf Klein Rogge, as ever, enjoys himself as the Mabuse-like,Haghi.

The film features some wonderfully Expressionistic lighting by Fritz Arno Wagner; much-to-admire 'Art-Deco' like sets; my stunning 'Masters Of Cinema' DVD features a glorious score,....and I'm sure I detected Rachmaninov clips in among its most romantic moments.

But, above all,it was a most assured job of direction by Lang.

And I can't wait to watch it again!


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