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Secret Agent [1936]

Director:Alfred Hitchcock
Writer:Charles Bennett
Composer:Hubert Bath
Length:86 minutes
(1 hour 26 minutes)
MPAA Rating:UR
Sorting Category:Mystery
IMDB Rating:6.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:100%
Amazon Rating:3.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: 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.

Reaction: It's okay.

Personal Rating: 6/10

Alfred Hitchcock => Director
Charles Bennett => Writer
Hubert Bath => Composer
Campbell Dixon => Play
W. Somerset Maugham => Novel "Ashenden"
Andreas Malandrinos => Manager (uncredited)
Charles Carson => 'R'
Florence Kahn => Mrs. Caypor
Howard Marion-Crawford => Karl - Lilli's FiancÚ (uncredited)
John Gielgud => Ashenden
Lilli Palmer => Lilli
Madeleine Carroll => Elsa
Percy Marmont => Caypor
Peter Lorre => The General
Robert Young => Marvin
Tom Helmore => Colonel Anderson (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Based on W. Somerset Maugham's [Ashenden] spy stories ({The Traitor} and {The Hairless Mexican}) and a play by Campbell Dixon.
  • John Gielgud filmed this during the day while appearing on stage in Romeo and Juliet opposite Peggy Ashcroft and Laurence Olivier in the evening.
  • Alfred Hitchcock reflected (regarding John Gielgud's lack of heroics): "You can't root for a hero who doesn't want to be one."
  • 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.