Spies (1928)

( 1 )

Overview

Spies (Spione) was the first independent production of German "thriller" director Fritz Lang. The years-ahead-of-its-time plotline involves Russian espionage activity in London. The mastermind is Haghi (Rudolph Klein-Rogge), a supposedly respectable carnival sideshow entertainer. Heading the good guys is Agent 326 (Willy Fritsch), with the help of defecting Russian spy Sonya (Gerda Maurus). The film moves swiftly to several potential climaxes, each one more exciting than its predecessor. Haghi's ultimate demise ...
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Overview

Spies (Spione) was the first independent production of German "thriller" director Fritz Lang. The years-ahead-of-its-time plotline involves Russian espionage activity in London. The mastermind is Haghi (Rudolph Klein-Rogge), a supposedly respectable carnival sideshow entertainer. Heading the good guys is Agent 326 (Willy Fritsch), with the help of defecting Russian spy Sonya (Gerda Maurus). The film moves swiftly to several potential climaxes, each one more exciting than its predecessor. Haghi's ultimate demise is a superbly staged Pirandellian vignette. Anticipating Citizen Kane by a dozen years, director Lang dispenses with all transitional dissolves and fade-outs, flat-cutting territory from one scene to another. The film was co-scripted by Lang and his then-wife Thea Von Harbou.
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Special Features

Includes a gallery of rare production photographs
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
In the tradition of his popular Dr. Mabuse films (Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse), Fritz Lang's Spies revolves around the baroque schemes of a criminal mastermind -- in this case, Haghi (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), a master spy who operates from a secret office inside a bank. The plot is a virtual template for all espionage movies to come. It's full of double agents, secret documents, assassinations, and even a love story between two agents on opposite sides of the vast game Haghi is playing. In contrast to Lang's silent masterpieces Metropolis and Die Nibelungen: Siegfried, with their gargantuan sets and stately, myth-like plots and pacing, Spies is made with swifter strokes. It begins with a quick-moving montage of murders, heists, and other crimes that sets the mood for the fast-paces, densely plotted action to follow. This, and a brilliantly designed and edited later passage which finds the hero, Agent 326 (Willy Fritsch), trapped in a train car about to be obliterated by an oncoming locomotive, are two of the film's great action sequences. Its ending, in which master-of-disguise Haghi's surprising secret identity is revealed, provides one of the most shockingly surreal moments in Lang's ouevre.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/9/2004
  • UPC: 738329038526
  • Original Release: 1928
  • Rating:

  • Source: Kino Video
  • Presentation: B&W / Full Frame
  • Sound: silent
  • Time: 2:23:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 52,878

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rudolf Klein-Rogge Haghi
Gerda Maurus Sonya Barranikowa
Lien Deyers Kitty
Craighall Sherry Secret Service Chief
Willy Fritsch No. 326 (Det. Donald Tremaine, English version)
Louis Ralph Hans Morriera
Lupu Pick Mosimoto (Matsumoto, English Version)
Fritz Rasp Col. Jellusic (Ivan Stepanov, English version)
Grete Berger
Hertha Von Walther Lady Leslane
Paul Hoerbiger Franz (326's Valet/Chauffeur)
Julius Falkenstein Hotel Manager
Georg John Train Conductor
Paul Rehkopf Strolch
Rose Valetti
Hermann Vallentin
Hans Heinrich Von Twardowski Chief Jason's Secretary (Spy)
Technical Credits
Fritz Lang Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Thea von Harbou Screenwriter
Werner Richard Heymann Score Composer
Otto Hunte Production Designer
Erich Pommer Producer
Karl Vollbrecht Production Designer
Fritz Arno Wagner Cinematographer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Opening Titles: Sensational Theft [:09]
2. An Official Summons [:11]
3. The Criminal Lair [3:21]
4. A Bank Transaction [9:01]
5. Sonja [7:24]
6. The Art of Persuasion [5:04]
7. Engaging the Enemy [11:40]
8. Danielli [5:34]
9. A Trust Betrayed [8:54]
10. Wayward Souls [7:39]
11. Jullisic [7:29]
12. Secrets of the Japanese [8:48]
13. The Cold 20,000 [8:24]
14. Harakiri [4:44]
15. 33.133 [9:48]
16. Putting Together the Pieces [10:48]
17. Set to Destruct [8:08]
18. "Curtain" [8:01]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Start Film
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Gallery of Images
      About the Restoration
      Metropolis Trailer (2002 Theatrical Re-Issue)
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Customer Reviews

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