6.6/10
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Secret Agent (1936)

Unrated | | Mystery, Thriller | 15 June 1936 (USA)
After three British agents are assigned to assassinate a mysterious German spy during World War I, two of them become ambivalent when their duty to the mission conflicts with their consciences.

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Writers:

(play), (novel) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Richard Ashenden / Brodie
...
Percy Marmont ...
Florence Kahn ...
Charles Carson ...
'R'
...
Lilli
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Storyline

During the first world war, novelist Edgar Brodie is sent to Switzerland by the Intelligence Service. He has to kill a German agent. During the mission he meets a fake general first and then Elsa Carrington who helps him in his duty. Written by Claudio Sandrini <pulp99@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Dead Women Tell No Tales Was The Motto of This Charming Lady Killer ! See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 June 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Laugh Track: Secret Agent  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on W. Somerset Maugham's "Ashenden" spy stories ("The Traitor" and "The Hairless Mexican") and a play by Campbell Dixon. See more »

Goofs

The General (Peter Lorre) drops his hat in the church and then he runs upstairs together with Edgar Brodie (John Gielgud). When they get there he has his hat on again. See more »

Quotes

Edgar Brodie: A lady-killer, eh?
'R': Not only ladies.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Bulgar Folk Song
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Hubert Bath
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Brisk, well-acted thriller
4 January 2006 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

A super film with probably the ideal balance of Hitchcockian control and cast contribution. The story is told at a good, brisk pace, slowed only to incorporate the three to four exemplary tension-ratcheting sequences. There's also ingenious use of the camera: the pick of the aforementioned suspense set-pieces involves intercutting between two characters on the Alps and a hotel room. Hitchcock's manoeuvre to the eye piece of the Alpine telescope and thence to the climbers would tickle the David Fincher of Panic Room.

The acting is solid gold. A young, terse John Gielgud cannot fail to capture (Hitchcock blonde) Madeleine Carroll's heart. Opposite this requisite lovematch are Robert Young's Yank charmer Marvin (his character manages to give the picture much needed sveltesse and glamour) but above all the unique contribution of Peter Lorre. Everyone knows Lorre from Casablanca; here he is a much more rounded, entertaining but no less interesting character.

A half-fumbled ending is symptomatic of the trust placed by the cast in the 'process', so this as other bumpy moments can be put down to Hitchcock and, in their turn, to contemporaneous technical limitations. It's a great matinée. 7/10


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