7.6/10
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37 user 3 critic

The Counterfeit Traitor (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Thriller, War | 2 July 1962 (Sweden)
Blacklisted in modern day WW2, a Swedish oil trader opts to assist British Allies, by means of infiltrating and surveying Nazi Germany.

Director:

George Seaton

Writers:

Alexander Klein (based on the book by), George Seaton (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Holden ... Eric Erickson
Lilli Palmer ... Frau Marianne Möllendorf
Hugh Griffith ... Collins
Carl Raddatz ... Otto Holtz
Ernst Schröder Ernst Schröder ... Baron Gerhard von Oldenburg
Charles Regnier Charles Regnier ... Wilhelm Kortner
Ingrid van Bergen ... Hulda Windler
Wolfgang Preiss ... Col. Nordoff
Werner Peters ... Bruno Ulrich
Erica Beer ... Klara Holtz
Stefan Schnabel ... Gestapo Agent at Funeral
Klaus Kinski ... Kindler
Erik Schumann Erik Schumann ... Nazi Gunboat Officer (as Erik Schuman)
Poul Reichhardt ... Fishing Boat Skipper
John Wittig John Wittig ... Sven
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Storyline

An American oil company executive of Swedish descent, now living in Sweden, is blackmailed into spying for the Allies during World War II. At first resentful, his relationship with a beautiful German Allied agent causes him to realize how vital his work is. When he learns that his anti-Nazi German associates are under suspicion from the Gestapo, he risks his own life to go back inside Nazi Germany to finish his work and try to save his friends. It's an exciting story with great characters, filmed partly in the locations where the story took place. Written by Carol

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Have Never Seen More Magnificent Adventure! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Danish | German

Release Date:

2 July 1962 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Espía por mandato See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The German spy for the OSS, Frau Marianne Möllendorf in the movie, was a real person whom Erickson fell in love with. Her real name was Anne-Maria Freudenreich. The Swedish national archives in Stockholm have photographs and letters Erickson received from her. See more »

Goofs

When Erickson goes to the "red light" district in Hamburg to make his contact with the underground, the street is ablaze with light from the windows and street lamps, something that would never have been seen in wartime, when blackout precautions were rigidly imposed - particularly in a city like Hamburg, which was a routine and consistent target of Allied bombers. See more »

Quotes

Eric Erickson: That, i think, was the loneliest moment of my life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits classify the cast members by country. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Happy Days: Joanie Gets Wheels (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Marianna
Music by Alfred Newman
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Good, old-fashioned spy film, with impressive performances and plenty of real suspense.
9 September 2004 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Although unappealingly long - 140 minutes to be precise - The Counterfeit Traitor turns out to be an absorbing, disturbing and rather exciting wartime suspense film. It gives William Holden his second-best role of the '60s (surpassed only by his work in The Wild Bunch) and provides good subsidiary roles for Lilli Palmer, Hugh Griffith and Ernst Schroeder.

Holden is terrific as a Swedish citizen born in the USA, named Eric Erickson. Erickson is a businessman trading oil from his Stockholm HQ during WWII. Many of his customers are Germans, and quite often he goes on business trips to war-torn Germany leaving the sanctuary of neutral Sweden behind. The British secret service approach him and plead for him to act as a spy, gathering sensitive information for them during his seemingly legitimate trips. Matters are complicated when Erickson meets fellow spy Marianne Mollendorf (Lilli Palmer), with whom he soon falls in love. His mission is seriously jeopardised when her spying antics are exposed, and she is seized by the Gestapo and taken away to be executed.

The film is well-made by ever-reliable director George Seaton. Seaton also wrote the screenplay, basing it on an Alexander Klein book, and he must be given credit for fashioning a thoroughly believable and suspenseful story. The film is shot on actual North European locations, and the use of real backdrops - as opposed to the usual studio lensing favoured by Hollywood in the early '60s - adds to the film's authentic flavour. Nowadays, the appeal of this kind of film is sadly limited, but if you have an affinity for this kind of stuff, then The Counterfeit Traitor is definitely a title worth tracking down.


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