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Secret Agent (1936)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 5,463 users  
Reviews: 60 user | 40 critic

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

Complete credited cast:
...
Elsa Carrington
...
The General
...
...
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:

Mystery - Intrigue - Romance, burn a flaming trail among the gay capitals of Europe 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alfred Hitchcock reflected (regarding John Gielgud's lack of heroics): "You can't root for a hero who doesn't want to be one." See more »

Goofs

Dates given in the story are out of sequence. After starting "May 10, 1916" (title), a telegram received later appears to be dated "3/4/16". A newspaper near the end of the film is dated "Tuesday, September 21, 1916," when that date actually occurred on a Thursday. Afterwards a postcard bears the date of "April 2." See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Caypor: Do you understand German, Mr. Marvin?
Robert Marvin: No, but I speak it fluently.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Spy story with suspense and romance by the master of thriller
21 September 2006 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

This espionage film concerns about Ashenden (John Gielgud), a secret agent is sent Switzerland to kill an unknown enemy spy . There he deals with various characters , as a quirky Mexican general (Peter Lorre), a smart gentleman (Robert Young) and a gorgeous woman (Madeleine Carrol) who poses as his wife , causing the classic loving triangle (Gielgud , Carrol , Young). The movie is based on Somerset Maughan's novels titled : Ashenden , taken from ¨The Traitor" and "The Hairless Mexican" spy stories.

This enjoyable picture blends action , a love story , comedy , adventures , thriller , suspense and results to be quite entertaining . Hitchcock said about this film being well developed in Switzerland , it's plenty of typical elements , such as : folkloric dances , Swiss Alps , lagoons and a chocolate factory . Alfred Hitchcock convinced John Gielgud to play the lead by describing the hero as a modern day Hamlet ; Gielgud, however, ended up hating that his character was an enigma and felt Hitchcock made the villain more charming than the hero . Besides , it contains the usual Hitch's touches and the elegant as well as intelligent baddie (repeating in posterior films as James Mason at ¨North by Northwest¨) , the enticing blonde (as later happened with Grace Kelly and Kim Novak) , the filming on the train (a very agreeable vehicle for the director) . It's an uneven movie and Hitch wasn't proud but it had excessive irony as he said in the famous interview with Francois Truffaut . Rating : Good , well worth watching . The motion picture will appeal to Hitchcock fans . Essential and indispensable seeing for Hitch lovers .


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