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British Intelligence (1940)

Although the home of cabinet minister Arthur Bennett is a hotbed of spies, moles, and double agents, no one knows the true identity of notorious German spymaster Strendler.

Director:

Terry O. Morse (as Terry Morse)

Writers:

Lee Katz (screen play), Anthony Paul Kelly (based on a play ['Two Faces East'] by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Valdar
Margaret Lindsay ... Helene von Lorbeer
Bruce Lester ... Frank Bennett
Leonard Mudie ... James Yeats
Holmes Herbert ... Arthur Bennett
Austin Fairman Austin Fairman ... George Bennett
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Storyline

During WWI pretty German master spy Helene von Lorbeer is sent undercover to London to live with the family of a high-placed British official where she is to rendezvous with the butler Valdar, also a spy, and help him transmit secret war plans back to Germany. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Romance | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | German

Release Date:

29 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Secret Enemy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Some cast members in studio records/casting call lists did not appear or were not identifiable in the movie. These were (with their character names): Sidney Bracey (Crowder), Jack Mower (Morton), Gordon Hart (Doctor) and John Sutton (Officer). The voice of the man in the car bringing home Frank Bennett sounded a bit like Sutton, but he was not fully on camera and could not be identified. See more »

Quotes

Helene Von Lorbeer, aka Frances Hautry: [hoping to meet Strendler] I'm so anxious to meet him, his work, his methods - a genius!
Valdar, aka Karl Schiller: No! A symbol of blind duty!
Helene Von Lorbeer, aka Frances Hautry: Or a complete patriot?
Valdar, aka Karl Schiller: Perhaps he has no soul, no conscience, nothing! He'd kill you or me - for duty!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: FRANCE 1917 See more »

Connections

Version of Three Faces East (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Compact spy thriller with excellent performances from Karloff and Lindsay
21 January 2012 | by csteidlerSee all my reviews

As one spy to another, Boris Karloff offers some advice: "The only way to be someone you are not is to be that person always, even in the presence of friends." This is a picture that keeps us guessing—just who is each person? It's a clever and very entertaining wartime thriller in which no one's identity is clear.

Set in 1917, the action is presented as directly relevant to the current events of 1940; more than one speech steps aside from the actual plot and appeals to an audience who would know exactly what was meant by references to future wars and to future lunatics who would again want to take over the world. The film's final speaker actually turns straight on to the camera for his inspirational closing sentences—the kind of exhortation that was frequent in WWII era films, that we rarely if ever see in pictures from any other era, and that can be strangely stirring even at this great distance.

Boris Karloff and Margaret Lindsay are both excellent, especially in their scenes together: their eyes are wonderfully expressive as they watch each other, play their roles, calculate loyalties and next moves.

Favorite moment: the late scene at the center of which Karloff purrs, "Excellent. But I'm afraid it won't quite do."

Definitely a spy vs. spy quickie worth watching.


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