6.2/10
298
9 user 6 critic

Man on a String (1960)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 25 March 1960 (West Germany)
A US secret agent is sent to Berlin to pretend to be a spy for the USSR.

Director:

André De Toth (as Andre De Toth)

Writers:

Boris Morros (book), Charles Samuels (book) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ernest Borgnine ... Boris Mitrov
Kerwin Mathews ... Bob Avery
Colleen Dewhurst ... Helen Benson
Alexander Scourby ... Col. Vadja Kubelov
Glenn Corbett ... Frank Sanford
Hanna Landy ... Bess Harris
Vladimir Sokoloff ... Papa of Boris Mitrov
Friedrich Joloff Friedrich Joloff ... Gen. Nikolai Chapayev
Richard Kendrick Richard Kendrick ... Inspector Jenkins
Ed Prentiss ... Adrian Benson
Holger Hagen Holger Hagen ... Hans Grünwald
Bob Iller Bob Iller ... Hartmann (as Robert Iller)
Reinhold Pasch Reinhold Pasch ... Otto Bergman
Carl Jaffe ... People's Judge
Eva Pflug ... Tanja Rosnova
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Storyline

After 1919, Russian Boris Mitrov immigrates to the USA where he becomes an American citizen. Over the decades he builds a career in the film industry. In 1959, Mitrov is a movie producer with many rich influential friends. He continues to cultivate other Russian émigrés like himself and even some members of the Soviet Embassy in Washington. One of his Soviet friends is Embassy official Vladimir "Vadja" Kubelov. In reality, Kubelov is a KGB colonel who finds Mitrov useful to the Soviet cause by providing certain services. For instance, Mitrov provides reference letters of employment for various Soviet sleeper agents in the USA. Mitrov throws parties for Soviet diplomats, spies and American Communists such as millionaire bankers Adrian and Helen Benson. All these activities catch the attention of American intelligence agency CBI which places Mitrov and his entourage under close surveillance. When the CBI confronts Mitrov about his activities, he admits it but claims naivete. Eager to ... Written by nufs68

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Taglines:

A real-life counter-espionage career more thrilling than fiction! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character Boris Mitrov is loosely based on Boris Morros, who was identified by the U.S. government as a counterspy in 1957. See more »

User Reviews

 
A decent time passer with one giant problem
27 August 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a decent Cold War film about a Russian film director working in the United States. While he is not a Communist, his "friends" are and while he tells himself he isn't working for them, he has accepted favors and naively thinks it will all somehow work out. However, when he is confronted by the CBI(?) (a fictional US government agency), he realizes he's become a Communist stooge and agrees to help the US in a counter-espionage mission behind the Iron Curtain.

While the film is a decent enough time-passer and the last 1/3 of the film is pretty exciting, it has one giant problem and a few small ones. Oddly, they decided to cast Ernest Borgnine as the Russian Director yet he never even sounds the least bit Russian and you can STILL detect his New York accent. This makes the entire film seem rather cheesy and very tough to believe. Had they recast the film and perhaps punched up the first 1/3, it could have been an exciting spy yarn. Oddly, just a few years later, Borgnine was cast as a Russian in ICE STATION ZEBRA and he was able to do a decent Russian accent! Additionally, when Borgnine's character went to Moscow, it looked like a bad travelogue with all the stock footage inserted rather haphazzardly into the movie. As it is, it's just passable entertainment and a mildly interesting curio of the Cold War.

By the way, don't get the idea I hate Cold War films--I am a history teacher and naturally love a good espionage film and could recommend several good ones such as I MARRIED A COMMUNIST and ASSIGNMENT Paris.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Ten Years a Counterspy See more »

Filming Locations:

West Berlin, Berlin, Germany See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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