Confessions of a Nazi Spy

1939

Drama / War

0
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1748

based on true story spy fbi nazi spy

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
January 03, 2023 at 10:41 PM

Director

Top cast

Ward Bond as American Legionnaire
Lon McCallister as Undetermined Secondary Role
George Sanders as Franz Schlager
Edward G. Robinson as Edward Renard
720p.WEB
955.86 MB
960*720
English 2.0
NR
24 fps
1 hr 44 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall 7 / 10

"I thought you said you were a loyal American."

I'd never heard of this film but when I saw it in the cable lineup for Turner Classics this morning I had to be there, especially with Edgar G. Robinson heading the cast. Interestingly, Robinson doesn't even appear until about half way into the picture as an FBI agent hot on the trail of a German-American turned Nazi spy. I have to admit, there were times the story got pretty chilling for me the way it portrayed Nazi infiltration into American daily life look so easy to do. The blind obedience to Adolph Hitler professed by Dr. Karl Kassel (Paul Lukas) in his speeches to local bund gatherings is somewhat hard to imagine today, but then again, I've seen era footage of a Hitler rally in Madison Square Garden, so I have to believe this wouldn't have been impossible.

What I thought was pretty cool was the way Agent Renard (Robinson) got Kurt Schneider (Francis Lederer) to crack, playing to his vanity and sense of self importance. No doubt the job was made easier by Schneider's inability to make his spy activities pay off in a big way with his German contact Schlager (George Sanders). It's also noteworthy to mention how Germans in the film reacted in horror to the mere mention of the word 'Gestapo'; every time it was uttered it brought on a near panic attack.

I'm really curious how this film was received back when first released. Gallup polls taken in 1936 showed that only one in twenty Americans were in favor of America getting involved in another war, but it took only two more years of Hitler's aggression to convince Americans that strengthening our Armed Forces for a conflict would be in our best interest. In perhaps the best line of dialog that would preview America's eventual entry into World War II, Attorney Kellogg (Henry O'Neill) states his considered view to Agent Renard that "When our basic liberties are threatened, we wake up."

Reviewed by blanche-2 7 / 10

Nazis in the U.S.

Edward G. Robinson, Francis Lederer, Paul Lukas and George Sanders star in "Confessions of a Nazi Spy," a 1939 film done in anticipation of the United States becoming involved in World War II. There was a proliferation of the German-American bundts, and Hitler was using them to spread Nazi propaganda in the U.S. Robinson, as an FBI man, is brought in to head an investigation of spy activities.

The film is done in semi-documentary style - sort of a dramatized documentary. Sanders is the head of one such bundt, and he sports a short haircut and a very convincing German accent. Lederer plays a amateur spy in it for the money and the power trip, and Lukas is a doctor who hides behind his profession but is really an impassioned believer in the Reich who helps get the spy material through. All of the performances are very good and hit the right tone.

"Confessions of a Nazi Spy" is heavy on the propaganda as should be expected, warning the country that there are Nazis everywhere. Were there? Hard to say but given the Germans who emigrated to the U.S. who still had families back home, it's entirely possible.

The most interesting thing about the film was that all these Nazi infiltrators were living on U.S. soil expressing belief in the Reich and Hitler - yet each time one of them was told they had to return to Germany, the blood drained from their faces and they begged to stay in the U.S.! Interesting film, as are many of the films that preceded the U.S. involvement in World War II.

Reviewed by planktonrules 8 / 10

Pretty exciting and rather brave as well

In 1939, most Americans really could have cared less about the war clouds in Europe. In hindsight, most Americans felt our intervention in WWI was a mistake and now a strong sense of isolationism permeated the country. Because of this, most American films ignored that there was a Nazi Germany or took a very neutral attitude (such as in IDIOT'S DELIGHT and CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS). However, by about 1939, a few domestic film studios finally began showing the Nazis as "the bad guys" and CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY was one of the first. Even the wonderful STORM WARNING (probably the best Hollywood anti-Nazi films made before America joined the war) didn't appear for another year. Because of this, CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY is a very brave film--showing the Nazis as evil and bent on warfare against America.

The film is an espionage film and the first half is told solely from the viewpoint of Nazi agents living in America. The star of the film. FBI agent Edward G. Robinson, doesn't even appear until about the midway point--at which point the US government springs into action to root out these traitors. It is all told in a very realistic and believable manner--mostly because it was based on a real pre-war case in the US. Exciting, well acted (with many underplayed roles despite how easily the whole thing could have been portrayed) and stirring--this is a great film.

By the way, although the film was made in 1939, the version just recently shown on Turner Classic Movies must have had additional pieces added sometime after 1939--as they talk about the fall of Norway and Holland--something that did not occur until 1940.

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