Nazi Agent (1942)

82-83 mins | Drama | March 1942

Director:

Jules Dassin

Producer:

Irving Asher

Cinematographer:

Harry Stradling

Editor:

Frank E. Hull

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

Working titles for the film included House of Spies and Out of the Past . The picture was reviewed as Salute to Courage by Var and some other sources. According to a HR news item, Ludwig Stossel was cast in the production, but he was not in the released film. Another news item includes Pat O'Malley in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Nazi Agent was the first feature film directed by Jules Dassin (1911-2008), who had previously directed short subjects at M-G-M. After leaving M-G-M in 1947, Dassin directed two well-received films for Universal, Brute Force and The Naked City (see above). Dassin was blacklisted in the late 1940s and moved to Europe, where he directed a number of critically regarded pictures over the next thirty years. Dassin, who was married to Greek actress Melina Mercouri, star of his 1959 film Never on Sunday ... More Less

Working titles for the film included House of Spies and Out of the Past . The picture was reviewed as Salute to Courage by Var and some other sources. According to a HR news item, Ludwig Stossel was cast in the production, but he was not in the released film. Another news item includes Pat O'Malley in the cast, but his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Nazi Agent was the first feature film directed by Jules Dassin (1911-2008), who had previously directed short subjects at M-G-M. After leaving M-G-M in 1947, Dassin directed two well-received films for Universal, Brute Force and The Naked City (see above). Dassin was blacklisted in the late 1940s and moved to Europe, where he directed a number of critically regarded pictures over the next thirty years. Dassin, who was married to Greek actress Melina Mercouri, star of his 1959 film Never on Sunday . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
24 Jan 1942.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jan 42
p. 3.
Film Daily
21 Jan 1942.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Nov 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Nov 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Dec 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 41
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Dec 41
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 42
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
24 Jan 42
p. 474.
New York Times
13 Jun 42
p. 11.
Variety
10 Jun 42
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Based on an idea by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
MAKEUP
Hair styles for Miss Ayars by
Makeup created by
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Out of the Past
House of Spies
Salute to Courage
Release Date:
March 1942
Production Date:
early November--16 December 1941
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 January 1942
Copyright Number:
LP11350
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82-83
Length(in feet):
7,517
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
8025
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Kindly German-American bookstore owner and stamp collector Otto Becker is rejoicing in a recent acquisition given to him by his friend, Prof. Jim Sterling, when his twin brother, German consul Baron Hugo von Detner, pays him a visit. The brothers have not seen each other since Otto fled Nazi Germany over eight years before. Although Otto tells Hugo that he has happily become an American citizen, Hugo suggests that the bookshop would make an excellent message exchange site for German agents. Otto angrily refuses Hugo's suggestion, but when Hugo reminds Otto that he entered the country illegally, then reveals that Otto's long-time assistant, Miss Harper, is a Nazi operative, Otto knows that he has no choice. Some time later, when Otto hears a radio news report about a bombed ship and realizes that his shop was used to relay information to the saboteurs, he determines to inform the police. He tries to give a secret letter to Jim, but Miss Harper observes him and that night Hugo announces that Jim has had an "accident." Hugo draws a gun on Otto, but in an ensuing struggle, Hugo is killed. Because there are several Nazi agents waiting outside, Otto decides to shave his beard, exchange clothes with Hugo and assume his identity. Otto then goes to Hugo's apartment, where he meets dress designer Kaaren De Relle, who apparently is one of Hugo's operatives. The next morning, Fritz, Hugo's butler and an old family servant, recognizes a scar on Otto's shoulder, but says nothing. Meanwhile, Otto orders Ludwig, the consulate chauffeur, to stop the car at a cigar store and there uses a public ... +


Kindly German-American bookstore owner and stamp collector Otto Becker is rejoicing in a recent acquisition given to him by his friend, Prof. Jim Sterling, when his twin brother, German consul Baron Hugo von Detner, pays him a visit. The brothers have not seen each other since Otto fled Nazi Germany over eight years before. Although Otto tells Hugo that he has happily become an American citizen, Hugo suggests that the bookshop would make an excellent message exchange site for German agents. Otto angrily refuses Hugo's suggestion, but when Hugo reminds Otto that he entered the country illegally, then reveals that Otto's long-time assistant, Miss Harper, is a Nazi operative, Otto knows that he has no choice. Some time later, when Otto hears a radio news report about a bombed ship and realizes that his shop was used to relay information to the saboteurs, he determines to inform the police. He tries to give a secret letter to Jim, but Miss Harper observes him and that night Hugo announces that Jim has had an "accident." Hugo draws a gun on Otto, but in an ensuing struggle, Hugo is killed. Because there are several Nazi agents waiting outside, Otto decides to shave his beard, exchange clothes with Hugo and assume his identity. Otto then goes to Hugo's apartment, where he meets dress designer Kaaren De Relle, who apparently is one of Hugo's operatives. The next morning, Fritz, Hugo's butler and an old family servant, recognizes a scar on Otto's shoulder, but says nothing. Meanwhile, Otto orders Ludwig, the consulate chauffeur, to stop the car at a cigar store and there uses a public telephone to anonymously tip the police about the two agents responsible for the sabotage. Otto then goes to Hugo's luncheon appointment and encounters Arnold Milbar, a Nazi posing as an American businessman named Frederick Williams. During lunch, Kaaren arrives and makes a point of snubbing "Hugo" when someone offers to introduce them. That evening, Otto goes to see Brenner, the head of the local Gestapo, and learns of the arrest of the two agents. Brenner and Milbar suspect a turncoat and suggest that it is Kaaren, whom Hugo had previously labeled "reluctant." Later, at the apartment, Fritz confronts Otto and explains that he hated Hugo's politics and wants to help Otto. Kaaren then arrives with information that is supposed to be passed on to Brenner, the name of a ship, the S.S. Farrington . While she is still in the apartment, Otto calls Brenner to tell him the name of the ship and say that Kaaren is absolutely reliable. Kaaren is startled that Hugo would help her and begins to soften toward him. The next evening, while Nazi agents plant explosives on the Farrington , Fritz, who knows that Kaaren is being forced to work for the Nazis to save her family, arranges for her to dine with Otto. Without revealing himself, Otto tells Kaaren that he will help her, but says that first he has a job to finish. The two then take a moonlit drive, listen to the radio and enjoy the music of Felix Mendelssohn, a Jewish composer banned by the Nazis. A few days later, Joe Aiello, who is one of Brenner's hired thugs, and trying to extort more money, inadvertently reveals to Otto that the Farrington has been rigged to explode as it passes through the Panama Canal. Otto then sends Kurt Richten, Hugo's assistant, to Brenner to report Aiello and mails papers containing the names of all Nazi agents, except Kaaren, to the FBI. He also secretly calls the police to have them stop the Farrington and arrest Aiello. Brenner and Milbar find Aiello first, but in a gunfight, Brenner and Milbar are killed, and Aiello is wounded just as the police arrive. When Miss Harper and Richten learn about Aiello's arrest, they wait for "Hugo" at Otto's shop. Because Otto's canary happily sings when he arrives, Miss Harper suspects him, so Richten goes to the consulate to investigate. There he discovers that the information on the agents is missing and telephones Miss Harper to confirm her suspicions, but the police have already come to arrest her. The next day, the other agents are apprehended and the consulate is closed. Richten then goes to Otto, threatening to expose Kaaren to the police. Nothing will dissuade Richten until Otto offers to accompany him back to Germany as a hostage to ensure Kaaren and her family's safety. After Otto makes Fritz promise to look after Kaaren but not reveal his secret, he boards a ship bound for Germany, and is humiliated by jeers from the people at the dock. As he catches his last glimpse of America, Otto is despondent, but gains strength as the ship passes the Statue of Liberty. +

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

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