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Hitchcock's formula "Never give the audience anything til the end of the film" In this film he keeps to that premise. In the realm of cinematography Hitchcock excels there is a scene in the film where abowl is spinning with a penny inside you hear the sound of the penny swirling around in the bowl.the penny changes to a coat button before your eyes. A great phsyical effects scene

to be continued...

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another magnificent scene is when a dog howls uncontrollably knowing his beloved master has instinctively diedon a mountain climbing expedition. It's an awesome and sad scene to affirm death. John Gielgud adds depth to the charcter when the storyline isn't clearly defined in the film. He is a great actor.

He holds up well against Peter Lorre who grabs every scene.Gielgud holds his own by just being a sophisticated

English gentleman, a famous novelist, deceased by the government to become a spy. to be continued....

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Madeleine Carroll's performance was predictable as the neglected wife and spy. I was hoping she would do more with her character. Hitchcock preferred to keep her behind the scenes in this film. Goodness knows why!?

Hitchcock took the answer to this question to the grave with him. So i guess we will never really know why? But

one may wonder, ponder discuss this issue ina film class of Hitch's films for years to come...to be continued...

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Robert young plays the guessing game is he? or isn't he?

the villain. I got the feeling Young wanted to be in an

Hitchcock film really badly that he didn't care what character he portrayed. The one thing Young did exceptionally well in the film he spoke excellent fluent

German. In one scene he pretended not to know the German

language he was superb. Young did his homework in this

film to his credit. to be continued......

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I love Hitchcock's "English Period Films" because he is at this point in his directorial career learning his craft. Hitch is learning from the bottom up ans as we all

know with each new film year after year Hitch becomes the "Magnificent One" !....to be continued......


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"Secret Agent" maybe flawed and technically creaky but highly enjoyable I loved it !....

It's one of Hitchcock's unjustly overlooked films. A must see experience for the classic film buff. I rate it

A- due to the film's flaws i mention in this paragraph.

lolite blue:)

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John Gielgud - Edgar Brodie/ Richard Ashenden

Madeleine Carroll Elsa Carrington

Peter Lorre - The General

Robert Young - Robert Marvin

Director Alfred Hitchcock

U.K. version

Runtime 86 minutes

Language English/ German

Sound mix Mono

Color B/W

** U.S.A. version - Has a laugh track.

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oops i forgot! Peter Lorre ! forgive me! i was trying to type too fast. Peter Lorre overplays his role as the

Mexican man called the general. Lorre uses his body,voice

and those eyes! to convey an emotion on screen. He is quite comical in a film that is of a serious nature

(England during Worls War I) maybe too much so!.....

Lorre's gift of physical acting is at its high point at this time in his career. Well folks hope this helps

to either see the film or pass it up. You decide

its been a pleasure to inform you all :) lolite blue.

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thank you SO much for taking the time to share this film with us. I will try to find it as soon as possible now; you've made it sound very intriguing and I enjoy Hitchcock's films so much anyway.


Thanks again!

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enjoyed reading all of your interesting takes on this film which I've often thought was overlooked in the Hitch oeuvre.


It made me think about how the author, Somerset Maugham still has so many of his works being made into films. I think there is even an upcoming version of "The Painted Veil" to be made. What with the recent Julia tale, and other stories that have been made into films like "The Letter", "Of Human Bondage", and "Rain" there may be much fodder for more remakes than have already been made. My favorite of Maugham's tales is the basis for the film "Christmas Holiday" with Deanna Durbin and Gene Kelly.


Thanks for sharing the great review, Lolite!

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Lolite, how did you come across this movie? Did you get it on DVD or VHS? I don't think I've ever seen it anywhere. But I'd really like to see it now, based on your great review. You mentioned some great Hitchcock "touches" that I really love in his movies!

And I've never been a big fan of Robert Young, but it sounds like he was excellent in this, and I'll definitely pay attention to his performance.

Thanks Lolite!

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movie joe I was by chance actually i was looking on

amazon .com for another Hitchcock movie and someone

was selling the vhs copy for .99 i was flawed!.....

cause i'd been wanting it so bad i couldn't find it

or all sold out everytime i wanted it i'm trying to collect all the English period films for my collection...

I grabbed it! (It was from a private collection and the

person was just giving it away)guess they didn't realize

what a gem of a film they had they just wanted to get rid of it..... I heard the movies unlimited has it

available now only on vhs. But get our copy quick!

thanks for the great feed back everyone! :) lolite.

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recently bought the DVD of "Secret Agent" from Movies Unlimited for under 10 bucks.


They also have a VHS version, that supposedly is remastered for under 25 dollars if I recall correctly. Don't ask me why the VHS is more than the DVD, but I notice that a lot lately.


My friend found the DVD version in a catalog from Movies Unlimited which came in the mail, but I'm sure it is probably on their online website.


It is a great movie, with good performances by Gielgud and Lorre.

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Thanks guys for pointing me in the right direction. And fuster, I think the reason why some of the VHS releases of classics like this one are more expensive is because they're no longer made. While most new movies are still released onto VHS in limited quantities, classics are no longer released in VHS format. I think the ones we see for sale are just the ones that are left that haven't been bought yet. I was at a local closeout/warehouse type store, and noticed a whole bunch of Universal VHS releases from years ago, still in their shrinkwrap. They must've been sitting around for a long time, until this store just bought a bunch of them in bulk. I picked up a great early thriller with Carole Lombard called "Supernatural," from 1933 co-starring Randolph Scott, and the almost forgotten Vivienne Osborne. This is a little off topic, but I just wanted to point out that a lot of classic VHS releases are still floating around out there. And I think the reason some of them are expensive is because at this point they're considered collector's items. And I've heard that there are people who only collect VHS tapes.


As for "Secret Agent," I'd like to get it on DVD. After a quick search on DeepDiscountDVD, I found a box set of Hitcock films for only $16, and in it is "Secret Agent," along with a bunch of other early Hitch thrillers. The picture quality of these films is probably not great, hence the price, but at least I'd get to see it!

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moviejoe, Good! $16.00 is a good price even if the quality isn't superior you have the box set. I think

just by your tip here i might do the same! Because

$25.00 and above is still steep i think on vhs....

You right about why the vhs copy is more expensive

than the Dvd copy thanks for clearing that up for all

of us :) lolite Have a good memorial weekend...

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make sense.


Soon, everyone will be collecting the VHS versions of films as they will be unavailable, just like some audiophiles collect eight-track tapes that are rare.


I have noticed on Movies Unlimited's website, that some rare VHS copies, which are still not on DVD, are limited to one per customer. I recently bought both "Zabriskie Point" and that Michael Reeves' flick with Vincent Price called "Conqueror Worm" under those guidelines.


"Supernatural" is a wonderful thriller as you say and Vivienne Osborne is an actress that my grandmother liked and clued me in to. Grandma is so great at identifying those character people in films like Osborne or someone like Sara Haden.


Congrats on picking up the Hitchcock boxed set at such a great price!


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  • 2 weeks later...



You wrote a great review of this wonderful Hitchcock film of which-luckily enough-I own a good DVD copy that I bought last year, I believe. I remember that the greatest thrill for me was to have the opportunity of seeing a young John Gielgud, whom I always had seen much older on film.


I also love Hitchcock and have bought as many of his films as I've could...Have you seen "Jamaica Inn", "Stage Fright", "I Confess" and "The Wrong Man"? I've never seen them and I'd like to buy them.


I loved Madeleine Carroll in "The Thirty-Nine Steps", it seems she was used for more advantage (by Hitchcock) there than in "Secret Agent".


I'm looking forward for more good recommendations like this one Lolly, keep on the good work!

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FYI--if you go to Amazon.com you might find a large number of films you all are looking for either in vhs or dvd. They have a super mega library and can fill just about any order you ask them to. I know--I've been there and done that many times already.

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Feaito, thanks for the wonderful feedback you do great reviews too! So i was a little timid in your shadow phew!

But your encouragement to do more reviews really made my

day thanks friend! I never saw Jamaica Inn or I Confess

as yet but hoping thur amazon.com to get a good vhs copy!

Stage Fright with Jane Wyman & Marlena Dietrich is a

great who done it film. But doesn't climax to the end of the film so your on the edge of your seat til the very

end of the film. A must see film. You must have this

film for your collection feaito. (to be Continued)

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"The Wrong Man" with Henry Fonda & Vera Miles (movie Psycho fame) is an true story based on what happened to a man in new york city in the 1950's, about mistaken

identity and the stress it causes a family. Vera Miles is excellent as the wife who suffers a nervous breakdown

due to all the stress of the situation.... Not one of

Hitch's normal stories of mystery & suspense. But

definiately a good drama. Henry Fonda in my opinion makes

this movie come alive with action that leaves you glued

to the end. In a way this move reminds me of the movie

"Northside 777" its along that route as movies go if

you like this movie you'll like "The Wrong Man"

and will want it for your very own!

Have a great day Feaito hope you had a restful vacation

and are enjoying all your new movies! lolly !....

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