6.7/10
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Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Approved | | Drama, War | 6 May 1939 (USA)
FBI agent Ed Renard investigates the pre-War espionage activities of the German-American Bund.

Director:

Anatole Litvak

Writers:

Milton Krims (screen play), John Wexley (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Edward Renard
Francis Lederer ... Schneider
George Sanders ... Schlager
Paul Lukas ... Dr. Kassell
Henry O'Neill ... Attorney Kellogg
Dorothy Tree ... Hilda Kleinhauer
Lya Lys ... Erika Wolf
Grace Stafford ... Mrs. Schneider
James Stephenson ... British Military Intelligence Agent
Hedwiga Reicher ... Mrs. Kassell (as Celia Sibelius)
Joe Sawyer ... Werner Renz
Sig Ruman ... Krogman (as Sig Rumann)
Lionel Royce Lionel Royce ... Hintze
Henry Victor ... Wildebrandt
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Helldorf (as Hans von Twardowski)
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Storyline

Prior to the United States entry into World War II, Nazi spies try to steal American military secrets. Among those whose passions are roused is Kurt Schneider who was court-martialed and dishonorably discharged from the US Army. Schneider is not very bright and is easily swayed by the oratory of Dr. Karl Kassel, a prominent physician who is eventually made the head of the Nazi spy ring. When Schneider's contact is arrested in Scotland, the US military asks the FBI to root out the spies. Agent Edward Renard is put in charge of the case and they methodically arrest all who have been spying. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY don't want you to see this picture! See more »

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Storm over America See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1941 Noam Chomsky was a boy living in a small commuter town in Connecticut. The was a large German ethnic population in the town and it was common to see men walking around in the Bund uniforms on the street. The day after Pearl Harbor, all the Bund uniforms disappeared forever. See more »

Goofs

In one scene there is a large sign on a fence reading, "Fort Wentworth Base Hospital." The Army does not refer to its installations as "bases." A correct sign would have read "Post Hospital." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: Some months ago, various persons appeared in the federal courts of New York City and the Panama Canal Zone, charged with the crime of espionage against the armed forces of the United States. Called to the witness stand, they swore to tell "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God". The story brought out at those trials is stranger than fiction, revealing the existence of a vast spy ring operating against the naval, military, and air forces of the United...
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Alternate Versions

For the 1940 re-release, Warner Bros. added footage showing the devastation inflicted on Norway, Holland and Belgium, those countries then occupied by Germany. That footage is included in the print shown on Turner Classic Movies. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Ali-Baba Bound (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

Annie Laurie
(1834-35) (uncredited)
Music by Lady John Scott
Whistled by Alec Craig
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User Reviews

Good story telling and a moral that is not overplayed
23 July 1999 | by mermattSee all my reviews

Even though this is a documentary of real events, the film never forgets that it is a film and must entertain as well as teach. The story illustrates how insidious treachery is and how the enemy always comes disguised as a friend.

The spies at first see themselves as the "master race" and the Americans as "simple minded." But soon the egos of the Nazis become their undoing. The film never stoops to melodrama but is emphatic in its point -- that one must never take democracy too much for granted.

The director went on to assist Frank Capra in the "Why We Fight" series which includes a scene from this film in part VII, "War Comes to America." Another effective film that is similar in theme is MGM's KEEPER OF THE FLAME with Tracy and Hepburn.


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