The Secret Agent | Chicago Reader

The Secret Agent

A rarely seen film by Alfred Hitchcock (1936), adapted from Somerset Maugham's Ashenden and starring John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, and Peter Lorre. Hitchcock thought the film had too many plot twists, and he was probably right, what with secret agent Gielgud assigned to kill a spy, only to assassinate an innocent tourist while the real villain slips away to lay his own plans. Still, the film has a fine cast and a fine look—shot in the Swiss Alps, much of it makes use of unusual white-on-white compositions. 85 min.

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