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The Serpent (1973)

Le serpent (original title)
PG | | Drama, Thriller | November 1973 (USA)
3:09 | Clip
A Soviet diplomat hatches a complicated plan to enable him to defect to the West.


Henri Verneuil



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Yul Brynner ... Col. Alexei Vlassov
Henry Fonda ... Allan Davies
Dirk Bogarde ... Philip Boyle
Philippe Noiret ... Lucien Berthon
Michel Bouquet ... Tavel
Virna Lisi ... Mrs. Annabel Lee
Guy Tréjan ... Robert Deval
Elga Andersen ... Kate Cross
Marie Dubois ... Suzanne Walter
Nathalie Nerval Nathalie Nerval ... Tatiana Vlassov
André Falcon André Falcon ... French Diplomat
Robert Party Robert Party ... Debecourt
William Sabatier ... Mercadier - Foreign Affairs official
Robert Alda ... Polygraph interrogator
Paola Pitagora ... Jeannine Santelli


Colonel Alexei Vlassov (Yul Brynner) is a Soviet spy. In France, he defects. He is whisked to the U.S.A., where Allan Davies (Henry Fonda) takes over the case. After polygraph tests and cross-examinations, Vlassov names several Western European Agents who are also spying for the Soviets. Davies wants to take the listed Agents into custody. Meanwhile, those on the list start dying under mysterious circumstances. Written by Ken Miller <wkmiller704@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One of these men is working for the C.I.A.


Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »



France | Italy | West Germany


English | German | French

Release Date:

November 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Night Flight from Moscow See more »

Filming Locations:

France See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono | Mono (Westrex Recording System) (as Westrex 1135)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In addition to the parallels between MI6's Philip Boyle (Sir Dirk Bogarde) in this movie and Kim Philby in real-life, there is another parallel between the head of the C.I.A. characters. The name of the Director of the C.I.A. in this movie, Allan Davies (Henry Fonda), seems to be a tribute to Allen Dulles, who, in real-life, was the Director of the C.I.A. from 1953 to 1961. Beside their names, the resemblance of facial lines of these two men is remarkable as well. See more »


Allan Davies: He is finished and he knows it. He will get a score of medals and he will quietly fade away under wraps.
?Connolly?: How come?
Allan Davies: That serpent has tasted Eden
[showing the American cigarette he is smoking]
Allan Davies: . They won't trust him again.
See more »


Referenced in Killer: Episode #1.2 (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

Pharaoh/King of Siam represented his native country only once
13 January 2010 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

The convoluted spy movie "Le serpent" ("Night Flight to Moscow" in English) features Yul Brynner as a Soviet colonel who defects to the United States, claiming that he has info about an assassination network. Much of the movie focuses on the intelligence communities in different countries investigating what he said. This probably would have been easier to watch in the cinema, since you need to know when to have subtitles turned on: they suddenly start speaking different languages at random times.

It's not a great movie, but worth seeing. Just understand that this is a complicated one; no James Bond stuff here. Also starring Henry Fonda, Dirk Bogarde, Farley Granger, Philippe Noiret and Virna Lisi.

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