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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

The play opened in New York City, New York, USA on 13 August 1918 and had 335 performances. It was produced by George M. Cohan and the cast included Frank Sheridan and Cora Witherspoon. See more »

Goofs

When in London in a taxi, Helene says to Henry Thompson "Wasn't there a son?" Thompson replies "Frank, I think his name is. He's in France in the Air Force." The Royal Air Force did not come into existence until 1st April 1918 and was at that time The Royal Flying Corps. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Arthur Benneft: But, tell me, Yeats, these sacrifices we are all making - do you think they will eventually mean something to mankind?
Colonel James Yeats: I wish I were able to answer that question. We want to help humanity. We fight wars only because we crave peace so ardently and pray that each war will be the last. But always in the strange scheme of things some maniac with a lust for power arises and, in one moment, destroys the peace and tranquility we've created through the years. We hate war! We despise it, but...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: FRANCE 1917 See more »

Connections

Edited into Who Dunit Theater: British Intelligence (2015) 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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