Monday, November 1, 2010

1939 - THE SPY IN BLACK, Powell meets Pressburger, in this very good spy thriller

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger worked together for this first time on this British spy thriller, The Spy In Black, which is about as quirky as anything they ever did.  For a film made during World War II, the focus wasn't on the British but the German U-Boat captain played by Conrad Veidt. 

Veidt's is ordered to become a spy for German intelligence service, he ends up in Scotland working with another German agent played by Valerie Hobson.  Hobson worked with David Lean on a couple of films and somehow ended up in Hollywood in The Bride of Frankenstein, of all things.

Veidt is very good in this film , he is usually remembered as the Nazi swine Major Heinrich Strasser in Casablanca and Jafar from The Thief of Bagdad.  Veidt's performance is so impressive you end up having more empathy for him then the British.

The film ends with an exciting sea chase as Veidt attempts to escape from the British navy on a tugboat.

The Spy In Black is as impressive as any of Hitchock's British thrillers.

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