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Spies (1928)

Spione (original title)
Not Rated | | Romance, Thriller | 10 March 1929 (USA)
The mastermind behind a ubiquitous spy operation learns of a dangerous romance between a Russian lady in his employ and a dashing agent from the government's secret service.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Thea von Harbou (novel), Fritz Lang | 1 more credit »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rudolf Klein-Rogge ... Haghi
Gerda Maurus ... Sonya Baranilkowa
Lien Deyers ... Kitty
Louis Ralph Louis Ralph ... Hans Morrier - Hans Morriera, English version
Craighall Sherry Craighall Sherry ... Burton Jason / Miles Jason
Willy Fritsch ... No. 326 - Det. Donald Tremaine, English version
Paul Hörbiger ... Franz - Chauffeur
Hertha von Walther Hertha von Walther ... Lady Leslane
Lupu Pick ... Dr. Masimoto - Matsumoto, English version
Fritz Rasp ... Col. Jellusic - Ivan Stepanov, English version
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Storyline

Haghi is a criminal mastermind whose ubiquitous spy operation is always several steps ahead of the police and the government's secret service. Enter Agent 326, the daring and dashing young man, who thinks his disguise as a dirty, bearded vagrant is fooling the unknown mastermind and his minions. But Haghi is well aware of 326's existence and what he looks like. Enter Sonya, a Russian lady in Haghi's employ. Haghi wants Sonya to subvert the efforts of the government agent, but doesn't count on her falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Haghi is anxious to get his hands on a Japanese peace treaty in the possession of the cunning Doctor Masimoto, whose mistress is also in his employ. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You never can tell the outcome in this superb melodrama by the man who made "Metropolis." (Print Ad- Granby Leader-Mail, ((Granby PQ)) 7 June 1929)

Genres:

Romance | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany

Language:

German

Release Date:

10 March 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Spies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fritz Lang consciously chose to introduce Willy Fritsch as a scruffy homeless person, for Fritsch was most known from his previous films as the elegant gentleman he later becomes in this movie as well. See more »

Goofs

It seems odd that Haghi, a man "richer than Ford" and who enthusiastically adopts new technologies judging by his office equipment, hand rolls his own cigarettes when commercially manufactured ones had been available for decades. See more »

Quotes

Military Officer: Almighty God - what power is at play here?
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great escapist entertainment--who cares that it's silent?
26 December 2005 | by marissas75See all my reviews

"Spies" is much more entertaining than you would expect an old German silent movie to be, and at first, it's hard to say why. The character types are familiar from hundreds of other spy movies: a villain who is bent on world domination and has multiple secret identities, a beautiful blonde who works as a spy for the villain, a dashing enemy agent who falls in love with the female spy. The plot is fairly ludicrous, though it moves along briskly and provides for some great set-pieces, such as an exhilarating chase scene. But despite all the clichés found in "Spies," the movie still feels fresh and vital. You get drawn into the world of the film and accept the clichés, rather than becoming distracted by them.

I'm sure most of the credit for this has to go to the director, Fritz Lang. His films ("Metropolis," "M") often have a very dark world view, but the overall tone of "Spies" is escapist adventure-fantasy. It aims to provoke thrills, not shock or outrage. Lang creates some stunning visual compositions and proves to be a very detail-oriented director—he delights in close-ups of spy gadgetry! His innovative use of montages, dramatic lighting, camera movement, and other techniques gives the film an interesting stylization.

I'm writing this review after watching the 90-minute American version of "Spies". But I had such a good time that I may have to seek out the 146-minute version!


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