“Secret Agent” is a spy thriller film from 1936, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, and Peter Lorre. The story takes place during World War I, and follows the adventures of a British writer named Edgar Brodie (Gielgud), who is recruited by the British Secret Service to go undercover in Switzerland and track down and eliminate a German spy known only as “The General.”
Posing as a writer of historical novels, Brodie meets and falls in love with Elsa Carrington (Carroll), a fellow British agent who is posing as his wife. They team up with a hitman named “The Hairless Mexican” (Lorre) to carry out their mission. Along the way, they encounter a variety of dangerous and colorful characters, including a sinister Russian agent and a group of German spies.
As the mission progresses, Brodie begins to question the morality of his assignment and whether killing “The General” is truly justified. Meanwhile, Elsa’s loyalties are called into question when it is revealed that her brother is actually “The General.”
The film features a number of classic Hitchcockian themes, including mistaken identity, double agents, and morally ambiguous characters. It is also notable for its dark and suspenseful tone, as well as its innovative use of sound and camera techniques. Overall, “Secret Agent” is a gripping and thrilling spy film that showcases Hitchcock’s mastery of the genre.
Campbell Dixon, W. Somerset Maugham, Charles Bennett
John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young