A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
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 <email@example.com>
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/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film 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 film. See more »
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 »
The only thing generic about this British thriller is its title. After that, it's a rather remarkable and suspenseful Hitchcock movie. John Gielgud plays a WWI pilot who is hired by his government as a spy. He meets up with two operatives, one who is playing the part of his wife (Madeleine Carroll) and one who is just Peter Lorre. I'm not sure what his cover was (perhaps this is just a small flaw; I think that if these were real spies they wouldn't make it very far, but I think I'm mature enough to suspend my disbelief on this kind of thing). They are in Switzerland to root out a German spy. Robert Young plays an American tourist who has a thing for Carroll. The script is excellent, with some fine dialogue. The characters are well developed. Hitchcock's direction is super-taut. The acting is just great here, especially Peter Lorre, who is just delicious. One thing to note in this movie, as well as Hitch's other 1936 film, Sabotage, in my opinion one of his greatest achievements, is the weight that death carries. In most of his other films, the death of a human being is treated rather cynically. One need only view The Trouble with Harry, which displays Hitch's wildest cynicism. I don't particularly mind this normally, but it's interesting to see the moral implications explored more fully in Secret Agent and Sabotage. 9/10.
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