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The Secret Adversary (1983)

After two old friends accidentally meet and resolve to become investigators for hire, they quickly become embroiled in a missing treaty and a Bolshevik conspiracy.


Tony Wharmby


Agatha Christie (novel), Pat Sandys (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Warwick ... Tommy Beresford
Francesca Annis ... Tuppence Cowley
Gavan O'Herlihy ... Julius P. Hersheimmer
Alec McCowen ... Sir James Peele Edgerton
Honor Blackman ... Rita Vandemeyer
Peter Barkworth ... Mr. Carter
Toria Fuller ... Jane Finn / Annette
John Fraser ... Kramenin
George Baker ... Whittington
Donald Houston ... Boris
Joseph Brady ... Dr. Hall
Wolf Kahler ... The German
Reece Dinsdale ... Albert
Peter Lovstrom ... Henry
Matthew Scurfield ... Conrad


Childhood friends Tommy and Tuppence (Prudence) meet in London after having served in World War I. Recently "demobed", short of money, and with no job prospects, they decide to become adventurers for hire. Soon, they are employed by the British Government to locate a secret treaty signed before the war. Bolsheviks, kidnappings, missing persons, and a marriage proposal for Tuppence, keep things moving for The Young Adventurers, Ltd. Written by Mike Smith <mismith@brody.med.ecu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 October 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Agatha Christie - Matrimonio de sabuesos: El misterioso señor Brown See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tuppence gets 50 pounds from Mr. Whittington. Two days later, 3 at the most, Tommy says they only have 5 pounds left. All we know is they were out to an elegant dinner once or maybe twice which would not have used up 45 pounds in 1919. See more »


[first lines]
Tommy Beresford: Tuppence?
Tuppence Cowley: Tommy! You! Of all people, you.
[They embrace. Tuppence shows Tommy the bread crumbs in her hand]
Tuppence Cowley: Ducks.
Tommy Beresford: Of course.
Tuppence Cowley: Oh, dear old bean.
See more »


Version of Adventures Inc. (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

The Illusive Mr. Brown
25 December 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Secret Adversary was Agatha Christie's novel which launched her Nick and Nora Charles characters of Tommy and Tuppence. This story shows how they met and the first case they got involved in.

It was back on the Lusitania in 1915 when both were passengers. Some other passengers on that ill-fated ship were involved in a lot of intrigue relating to the late World War. That's over now, but Toria Fuller during the chaos of those passengers abandoning the torpedoed ocean liner grabbed herself a piece of a secret treaty and has had it for lo these many years.

Now some Bolsheviks want it to stir up some revolution in the United Kingdom. There's a cell of them operating under the lead of the illusive Mr. Brown. British Intelligence knows about Brown, but no one knows who he is.

James Warwick and Francesca Annis as Tommy And Tuppence renew their acquaintance from the Lusitania and get themselves involved in the case as a pair of amateurs. They're needed because the Bolsheviks seem to know all the professionals. They prove to have a knack for solving mysteries.

A lot of this might seem melodramatic today, but Agatha Christie was a good observer of the times this was written in. The Russian Revolution had occurred and a lot of governments were pretty uneasy in their seats of power. Christie alludes to a General Strike and she turned out to be a prophet because one did happen in the UK in 1926 a few years after The Secret Adversary came out. It was real enough to the population in the United Kingdom back then.

The Secret Adversary is a good introduction to Tommy And Tuppence and proved to a pilot for a BBC series of their mysteries. Recommended for those who think Ms. Christie wrote about Hercule Poirot and Jane Marple exclusively.

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