U-Boat 29 (1939)

77 mins | Drama | 7 October 1939

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HISTORY

According to contemporary reviews, this picture, released as The Spy in Black in England, was the second of Columbia's "quota acquisitions," which were produced by Irving Asher, the head of Columbia British production. It was produced just before the start of World War II, and marked the first collaboration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The film appeared on the National Board of Review's "ten best" list of 1939. Modern sources add Bernard Miles to the cast. Powell and Pressburger re-teamed with Valerie Hobson in the 1939 British film Contraband which released released in the United States in 1940 as Blackout ... More Less

According to contemporary reviews, this picture, released as The Spy in Black in England, was the second of Columbia's "quota acquisitions," which were produced by Irving Asher, the head of Columbia British production. It was produced just before the start of World War II, and marked the first collaboration of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The film appeared on the National Board of Review's "ten best" list of 1939. Modern sources add Bernard Miles to the cast. Powell and Pressburger re-teamed with Valerie Hobson in the 1939 British film Contraband which released released in the United States in 1940 as Blackout . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
17 Oct 39
p. 3.
Film Daily
11 Oct 39
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Oct 39
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Oct 39
p. 6.
Motion Picture Herald
15 Apr 39
pp. 60-61.
New York Times
6 Oct 39
p. 31.
Variety
11 Oct 39
p. 3.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Spy in Black
Release Date:
7 October 1939
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 6 October 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
17 September 1939
Copyright Number:
LP9116
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
77
Length(in reels):
8
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
5703
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During World War I, Hardt, a German submarine captain, is sent to a secret rendezvous in the Orkney Islands near the home base of the British battle fleet. He has instructions to meet a spy there who will give him his orders. At the same time, Anne Burnett is proceeding to the islands to take a new position as schoolmistress and be near her fiancé, Reverend John Harris. On her way, she is kidnapped by German spies, and eventually a new schoolmistress appears and contacts Hardt. She gives him orders to sink the British fleet and tells him that specific instructions will be forthcoming from Lieutenant Ashington, a British traitor in the employ of the Germans. Soon after, the alcoholic Ashington arrives with a set of plans detailing the movements of the British battle cruisers. Hardt transmits these to his submarine crew, ordering them to torpedo the English fleet. Although he detests Ashington, Hardt finds himself attracted to the new spy, and consequently, when he sees her embracing Ashington, his jealousy is aroused. In actuality, the schoolmistress is Ashington's wife was pressed into emergency service as a counterspy after the true German spy was captured. When she becomes fearful of Hardt, Ashington smuggles his wife aboard the St. Magnus, a ferryboat transporting German prisoners of war. At the last moment, Hardt realizes that the girl and Ashington are actually counterspies and escapes aboard the St. Magnus. Inciting the prisoners to mutiny, Hardt commandeers the boat and tries to head off the submarine's deadly rendezvous. Hardt's own submarine, acting on his information, torpedoes the St. Magnus, and as ... +


During World War I, Hardt, a German submarine captain, is sent to a secret rendezvous in the Orkney Islands near the home base of the British battle fleet. He has instructions to meet a spy there who will give him his orders. At the same time, Anne Burnett is proceeding to the islands to take a new position as schoolmistress and be near her fiancé, Reverend John Harris. On her way, she is kidnapped by German spies, and eventually a new schoolmistress appears and contacts Hardt. She gives him orders to sink the British fleet and tells him that specific instructions will be forthcoming from Lieutenant Ashington, a British traitor in the employ of the Germans. Soon after, the alcoholic Ashington arrives with a set of plans detailing the movements of the British battle cruisers. Hardt transmits these to his submarine crew, ordering them to torpedo the English fleet. Although he detests Ashington, Hardt finds himself attracted to the new spy, and consequently, when he sees her embracing Ashington, his jealousy is aroused. In actuality, the schoolmistress is Ashington's wife was pressed into emergency service as a counterspy after the true German spy was captured. When she becomes fearful of Hardt, Ashington smuggles his wife aboard the St. Magnus, a ferryboat transporting German prisoners of war. At the last moment, Hardt realizes that the girl and Ashington are actually counterspies and escapes aboard the St. Magnus. Inciting the prisoners to mutiny, Hardt commandeers the boat and tries to head off the submarine's deadly rendezvous. Hardt's own submarine, acting on his information, torpedoes the St. Magnus, and as the British destroyers shatter the submarine with depth bombs, Ashington's boat rescues all the passengers of the St. Magnus except Hardt, who goes down with the ship. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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