Secret Agent


From IMDb: 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. Stars: John Gielgud, Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll and Robert Young

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Secret Agent (1936) is a cinema of the United Kingdom directed by Alfred Hitchcock, loosely based on two stories in Ashenden: Or the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham. The film starred John Gielgud, Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll, and Robert Young (actor). Future star Michael Redgrave made a brief, uncredited appearance; he would play the male lead in Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes (1938 film) two years later. This was also Michael Rennie's film debut (uncredited).


Gielgud plays a United Kingdom officer, a famous writer whose death is faked during World War I, and who is sent by the mysterious "R", head of British intelligence, to Switzerland on a secret mission. Carroll plays a female agent who poses as his wife. Lorre appears as a British agent working with them, a killer known variously as "the Hairless Mexican" and "the General".
Typical Hitchcockian themes used here include mistaken identity and murder.


  • John Gielgud - Richard Ashenden
  • Peter Lorre - The General
  • Madeleine Carroll - Elsa Carrington
  • Robert Young (actor) - Robert Marvin
  • Percy Marmont - Caypor
  • Florence Kahn (actress) - Mrs. Caypor
  • Charles Carson (actor) - 'R'
  • Lilli Palmer - Lilli


The film was voted the fifth best British movie of 1936.<></>

Category:1936 films
Category:1930s thriller films
Category:1930s romance films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:British films
Category:British spy films
Category:English-language films
Category:Films based on novels
Category:Films directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Category:Romantic period films
Category:Films set in Switzerland
Category:Films shot in Switzerland
Category:World War I spy films
Category:Films based on works by Somerset Maugham


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