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Secret Agent (1936)

Not Rated | | Mystery, Thriller | 15 June 1936 (USA)
After three British Agents are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during World War I, two of them become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Campbell Dixon (play), W. Somerset Maugham (novel) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Madeleine Carroll ... Elsa Carrington
Peter Lorre ... The General
John Gielgud ... Richard Ashenden / Edgar Brodie
Robert Young ... Robert Marvin
Percy Marmont ... Caypor
Florence Kahn ... Mrs. Caypor
Charles Carson ... 'R'
Lilli Palmer ... Lilli
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Storyline

During the first world war, novelist Edgar Brodie is sent to Switzerland by the Intelligence Service. He has to kill a German agent. During the mission he meets a fake general first and then Elsa Carrington who helps him in his duty. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dead Women Tell No Tales Was The Motto of This Charming Lady Killer ! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

15 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Laugh Track: Secret Agent See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS or DVD copy of this movie. Therefore, many of the versions of this movie available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the movie. See more »

Goofs

Ashenden's resignation letter changes between scenes. The first time we see it, it reads: "Now that I have resigned / if you want a successor for / me I can give you the / name of a good reliable butcher" When Carrington later looks at it and cuts it up, it reads: "Now that I have resigned / if you want a successor / for me I can give you / the name of a good / reliable butcher" See more »

Quotes

The General: [introducing himself] General Pompellio Montezuma De La Vilia De Conde De La Rue
Robert Marvin: Ah, do you mind if I call you Charlie?
The General: Yes, I mind!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Alfred Hitchcock: Master of Suspense (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Bulgar Folk Song
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Hubert Bath
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Spy story with suspense and romance by the master of thriller
21 September 2006 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This espionage film concerns about Ashenden (John Gielgud), a secret agent is sent Switzerland to kill an unknown enemy spy . There he deals with various characters , as a quirky Mexican general (Peter Lorre), a smart gentleman (Robert Young) and a gorgeous woman (Madeleine Carrol) who poses as his wife , causing the classic loving triangle (Gielgud , Carrol , Young). The movie is based on Somerset Maughan's novels titled : Ashenden , taken from ¨The Traitor" and "The Hairless Mexican" spy stories.

This enjoyable picture blends action , a love story , comedy , adventures , thriller , suspense and results to be quite entertaining . Hitchcock said about this film being well developed in Switzerland , it's plenty of typical elements , such as : folkloric dances , Swiss Alps , lagoons and a chocolate factory . Alfred Hitchcock convinced John Gielgud to play the lead by describing the hero as a modern day Hamlet ; Gielgud, however, ended up hating that his character was an enigma and felt Hitchcock made the villain more charming than the hero . Besides , it contains the usual Hitch's touches and the elegant as well as intelligent baddie (repeating in posterior films as James Mason at ¨North by Northwest¨) , the enticing blonde (as later happened with Grace Kelly and Kim Novak) , the filming on the train (a very agreeable vehicle for the director) . It's an uneven movie and Hitch wasn't proud but it had excessive irony as he said in the famous interview with Francois Truffaut . Rating : Good , well worth watching . The motion picture will appeal to Hitchcock fans . Essential and indispensable seeing for Hitch lovers .


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