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Hotel Reserve (1944)

Approved | | Thriller | 28 June 1946 (USA)
A hunt for a spy, in an hotel in the South of France just before World War Two.


Lance Comfort, Mutz Greenbaum (as Max Greene) | 1 more credit »


Eric Ambler (adapted from the novel "Epitaph For A Spy" by), John Davenport (adaptation)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Mason ... Peter Vadassy
Lucie Mannheim ... Mme Suzanne Koch
Raymond Lovell Raymond Lovell ... Robert Duclos
Julien Mitchell Julien Mitchell ... Michel Beghin, intelligence chief
Herbert Lom ... Andre Roux
Martin Miller ... Walter Vogel
Clare Hamilton Clare Hamilton ... Mary Skelton
Frederick Valk Frederick Valk ... Emil Schimler, alias Paul Heimberger
Patricia Medina ... Odette Roux
Anthony Shaw Anthony Shaw ... Major Anthony Chandon-Hartley
Lawrence Hanray Lawrence Hanray ... Police Commissioner
David Ward David Ward ... Henri Asticot
Valentine Dyall ... Warren Skelton
Joseph Almas Joseph Almas ... Albert, the waiter (as Josef Almas)
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Woman


An Austrian medical student living and working in France is hauled in by the police while on holiday in the south of the country. Accused of espionage he is sent back to his hotel to find out who might really be the spy. Not only his freedom but his chance of becoming a French citizen rests on what he can uncover. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Death Signs the Register




Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

28 June 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Epitaph for a Spy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its initial USA television presentations in Los Angeles Tuesday 13 March 1956 on KHJ (Channel 9), in Memphis Wednesday 11 April 1956 on WHBQ (Channel 13), in New York City Monday 7 May 1956 on WOR (Channel 9), in Altoona Thursday 15 November 1956 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Boston Saturday 8 December 1956 on WNAC (Channel 7), and in Philadelphia Sunday 9 December 1956 on WFIL (Channel 6). See more »


When Vadassy's film is examined in the viewer, positive images are seen, although they are referred to several times as negatives. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: A holiday...in France...before the war...yet even then the plane-trees and cypresses of the South cast shadows in the sun.

It happened in August 1938 ... See more »

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User Reviews

I liked this a little better than most
17 May 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

James Mason is a guest at the "Hotel Reserve," and runs into some problems in this 1944 film. He plays a young man, Vadassy, whose camera is used to photograph a military installation, which is the crime of espionage. Since the camera number on his declarations form doesn't match the camera's, the officials know the camera was switched. They want Vadassay to find the spy in the hotel. The suspects are a honeymooning couple (Herbert Lom and Patricia Medina), a man using an alias (Frederick Valk), an attractive young woman (Mary Skelton), a major (Anthony Shaw), an older couple, several others.

I liked this film a little better than some others on the board, though it does not have the suspense or urgency of a Hitchcock film. It does have an overpowering score, one of the most dramatic I've ever heard by Lennox Berkeley, interesting photography by Mutz Greenbaum (who was one of the directors as Max Greene), and it's based on a story by Eric Ambler, a fine suspense writer. What it also had going for it was a very European setting and sensibility, very fitting for the plot.

James Mason is very young and handsome here, and Herbert Lom is nearly unrecognizable, he's so young. Mason is very good but the depth of his abilities was as yet untapped. The rest of the cast is good.

Yes, Hitchcock would have gone to town on this one. Still, "Hotel Reserve" has its good points in storyline and visuals. And that music - intrusive but good.

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