30 user 11 critic

Confidential Agent (1945)

Passed | | Drama, Thriller | 10 November 1945 (USA)
During the Spanish Civil War, a republican courier travels to England to try and buy coal. He meets with an amount of local hostility, while his life is at risk from those on the fascist ... See full summary »


Herman Shumlin


Graham Greene (novel), Robert Buckner (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Charles Boyer ... Luis Denard
Lauren Bacall ... Rose Cullen
Victor Francen ... Licata
Wanda Hendrix ... Else
George Coulouris ... Captain Currie
Peter Lorre ... Contreras
Katina Paxinou ... Mrs. Melandez
John Warburton ... Neil Forbes
Holmes Herbert ... Lord Benditch
Dan Seymour ... Mr. Muckerji
Art Foster Art Foster ... Chauffeur
Miles Mander ... Mr. Brigstock
Lawrence Grant ... Lord Fetting
Ian Wolfe ... Dr. Bellows
George Zucco ... Detective Geddes


During the Spanish Civil War, a republican courier travels to England to try and buy coal. He meets with an amount of local hostility, while his life is at risk from those on the fascist side. Support comes from an unlikely if attractive quarter. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You'll see the screen Cook when "The Lover" meets "The Look"!!! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Thriller


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 November 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agente confidencial See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Graham Greene, on whose novel the movie is based, said that it was "the only good film ever made from one of my books by an American director." See more »


Early in the film when Luis meets Licata on the ferry at the bottom of the steps to the first class section, there is a chain and sign across the entrance to the steps. However, Licata walks away from Luis after they talk without undoing the chain or stepping over it - as if the chain wasn't there. See more »


Rose Cullen: Was your wife at all like me?
Luis Denard: No. She was a much nicer person.
Rose Cullen: That's honest anyway.
See more »


Referenced in Dark Passage (1947) See more »


Love Is the Sweetest Thing
Written by Ray Noble
Performed by Lynn Baggett at the road house
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User Reviews

Boyer Isn't Spanish and Bacall Isn't British, Yet...
2 August 2005 | by dmh7-1See all my reviews

I watch a lot of films, good, bad and indifferent; there is usually something of interest to fixate upon, even if it is only set design, or the reliable labor of a good character actor, or the fortuitous laughter that emerges from watching ineptitude captured forever.

However, I was quite pleasantly surprised by this film, one I had never seen before. Graham Greene has been translated into film many times of course, in such masterpieces as "Thin Man" and in lesser vehicles. "Confidential Agent" is one of those lesser vehicles, yet it manages to get me somewhere anyway, despite lackluster direction, the incongruity of Bacall and Boyer's depictions as (respectively) British and Spanish, and the almost complete non-existence of any chemistry between the two leads. In some ways, this last "problem" actually begins to work in the film's favor, for how can love really blossom in the killing atmosphere of fascism and capitalism meeting about one person's tragedy? The most compelling aspect of the film arises directly from Greene's complex and guilt-ridden psychology, which pervades the film. I know some see the deliberate pacing here as dull, and I can understand that. Yet I found that plodding accentuated rather than detracted from what is a claustrophobic world. I was compelled to watch, not by any great acting (although Boyer is marvelous as usual, managing to convey a rich mixture of world-weariness, tragedy, hope, and fervor with his magnificent voice and yearning eyes), but by the down-spiraling rush of one man's slim hopes against a world of oppression and money. What is a thief? What good is love in the face of death? Where does mere profit-taking end and exploitation begin? The film does not rise to the level of art, and thus cannot hope to answer such questions, but it is much more than mere entertainment, and its murders and guilts are very grimly drawn. The lack of glitz, of "bubble," of narrative "bounce" help to make this movie very worthwhile.

And there is no happy ending, for history wrote the ending.

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