British Intelligence (1940)

61-62 mins | Drama | 29 January 1940

Director:

Terry Morse

Writer:

Lee Katz

Cinematographer:

Sid Hickox

Editor:

Thomas Pratt

Production Designer:

Hugh Reticker

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Secret Enemy. The Anthony Paul Kelly play was previously filmed as Three Faces East in 1926 by Cinema Corp. of America, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Jetta Goudal and Robert Ames, and in 1930 by Warner Bros., directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring Constance Bennett and Erich von Stroheim (see entries below). ...

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The working title of this film was Secret Enemy. The Anthony Paul Kelly play was previously filmed as Three Faces East in 1926 by Cinema Corp. of America, directed by Rupert Julian and starring Jetta Goudal and Robert Ames, and in 1930 by Warner Bros., directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring Constance Bennett and Erich von Stroheim (see entries below).

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1940
p. 3
Film Daily
14 Feb 1940
p. 5
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 1939
pp. 6-7
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 1940
p. 3
Motion Picture Herald
17 Feb 1940
p. 40
New York Times
12 Feb 1940
p. 14
Variety
14 Feb 1940
p. 18
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dial dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
H. Roemheld
Mus
SOUND
Sd rec
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Three Faces East by Anthony Paul Kelly (New York, 13 Aug 1918).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Secret Enemy
Release Date:
29 January 1940
Production Date:
began mid Mar 1939
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
1 January 1940
LP9355
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
61-62
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5228
SYNOPSIS

During World War I. British Intelligence is baffled by the clever German spy Franz Shindler, and dispatches pilot Frank Bennett to pick up Williams, a crack British spy operating behind German lines. Before he can complete his mission, Frank's plane is shot down and he is hospitalized in France, where he meets and falls in love with his nurse, Helene von Lerbeer. Helene, a German spy, abruptly leaves Frank when German Intelligence places her in the London home of Frank's father Arthur Bennett, a new cabinet minister. Posing as Frances Hautry, a fugitive from the German detention camps, Helene is offered sanctuary at the Bennett house and there she meets Valdar, a German agent posing as a servant. Valdar tells Helene that he is her liaison to Shindler, who is now operating in London. Helene falls under suspicion when Crichton, a British agent, discovers Bennett's secretary sending messages to her in German code. Allegiances become more complicated when Valdar, sans his French accent, visits Colonel John Yeats, the head of British Intelligence, and reveals himself as a double agent working undercover for Britain. Yeats confides to Valdar that a British cabinet meeting is to convene secretly the next night in the Bennett library. Meanwhile, to trap Frances, Yeats has a British agent impersonate Kurtz, an escaped German spy, but Frances outwits Yeats and turns the fake Kurtz over to the police. Frances warns Valdar that she has been discovered, but he insists that she remain at the Bennett house until the cabinet meeting has convened. Shortly after, Frank arrives home from France and recognizes Helene, who confesses that she is a ...

More Less

During World War I. British Intelligence is baffled by the clever German spy Franz Shindler, and dispatches pilot Frank Bennett to pick up Williams, a crack British spy operating behind German lines. Before he can complete his mission, Frank's plane is shot down and he is hospitalized in France, where he meets and falls in love with his nurse, Helene von Lerbeer. Helene, a German spy, abruptly leaves Frank when German Intelligence places her in the London home of Frank's father Arthur Bennett, a new cabinet minister. Posing as Frances Hautry, a fugitive from the German detention camps, Helene is offered sanctuary at the Bennett house and there she meets Valdar, a German agent posing as a servant. Valdar tells Helene that he is her liaison to Shindler, who is now operating in London. Helene falls under suspicion when Crichton, a British agent, discovers Bennett's secretary sending messages to her in German code. Allegiances become more complicated when Valdar, sans his French accent, visits Colonel John Yeats, the head of British Intelligence, and reveals himself as a double agent working undercover for Britain. Yeats confides to Valdar that a British cabinet meeting is to convene secretly the next night in the Bennett library. Meanwhile, to trap Frances, Yeats has a British agent impersonate Kurtz, an escaped German spy, but Frances outwits Yeats and turns the fake Kurtz over to the police. Frances warns Valdar that she has been discovered, but he insists that she remain at the Bennett house until the cabinet meeting has convened. Shortly after, Frank arrives home from France and recognizes Helene, who confesses that she is a British agent. Overhearing her confession, Valdar imprisons her in the basement, where he reveals that he is Shindler and accuses her of being a British spy. After Helene convinces Valdar that she is loyal to Germany, he shows her the bomb that he has set to destroy the cabinet ministers. At that moment, Yeats and his men pound at the basement door, and Helene lets them in to defuse the bomb. Shindler escapes through a coal shoot, but meets his death in a German air raid.

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

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