7.7/10
3,860
41 user 37 critic

5 Fingers (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 7 March 1952 (USA)
During WWII the valet to the British Ambassador to Ankara sells British secrets to the Germans while trying to romance a refugee Polish countess.

Writers:

Michael Wilson (screenplay), L.C. Moyzisch (book)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Ulysses Diello
Danielle Darrieux ... Countess Anna Staviska
Michael Rennie ... Colin Travers
Walter Hampden ... Sir Frederic Taylor
Oskar Karlweis ... L. C. Moyzisch
Herbert Berghof Herbert Berghof ... Col. von Richter
John Wengraf ... Count Franz Von Papen
Ben Astar ... Siebert (as A. Ben Astar)
Roger Plowden Roger Plowden ... Keith Macfadden
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Storyline

Based on a true story. In neutral Turkey during WWII, the ambitious and extremely efficient valet for the British ambassador tires of being a servant and forms a plan to promote himself to rich gentleman of leisure. His employer has many secret documents; he will photograph them, and with the help of a refugee Countess, sell them to the Nazis. When he makes a certain amount of money, he will retire to South America with the Countess as his wife. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

5 FINGERS...BEHIND THEM THE FABULOUS TRUE EXPLOITS OF THE HIGHEST PAID SPY IN HISTORY! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Portuguese | Turkish | French

Release Date:

7 March 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operation Cicero See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The film later served as the inspiration for a short-lived TV series Five Fingers (1959) starring David Hedison. See more »

Goofs

Foam in the Countess' beer while she talks with Count von Papen. See more »

Quotes

Ulysses Diello: [to Moyzisch] Spies are notoriously poor businessmen. Most of them are professional patriots, frustrated liberals or victims of blackmail. And in all such cases the emotional involvement weakens their bargaining position and destroys sound business judgements.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Before the movie title: This is a true story. All the exterior scenes in this picture were filmed in the locales associated with the story. See more »

Connections

Featured in Bulworth (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Ride of the Valkyries
(uncredited)
Composed by Richard Wagner
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb
23 January 2011 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Supposedly based on a true story, a valet uses his position at British embassy to steal WWII secrets to sell to the Germans.

What a superbly tight script that stays on the compelling track the whole time. We watch lowly valet Diello (Mason) use nothing but wits and guts to outmaneuver both the British and the Germans. He's not a sympathetic lead character, always unusual for a Hollywood production (TCF). But you can't help admiring his ability to outwit the professionals, even if he is completely self-centered.

I get the feeling Diello sees himself as a natural born aristocrat denied that position by the fortunes of birth. So, by golly, he's going to use those talents to get the wealth and position he deserves, but which European society has denied him.

Mason is simply superb in a tailor-made part. He projects both the icy intelligence and curt politeness that the role requires. I sweated a bucket load when the cleaning lady rummages around the closet, while Diello photographs embassy secrets. If she finds the power switch, he's toast. Great scene.

Note too, how there're no obvious good guys-bad guys, also unusual for a WWII drama. The British are slightly favored, but at least the Germans aren't caricatured. It's more like one opportunist (Diello) is exploiting both sides impartially, and they're both after him.

Then too, what guy wouldn't lose his head over the delectable Darrieux, even a guy as calculating as Diello. All of which makes the ending one of the most ironically satisfying in movie annals. I'm betting this was one of the best films to come out of that spare movie year of 1952. So if you haven't seen it, do.


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