International Lady

1941

Action / Adventure / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 179

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
October 18, 2021 at 09:42 PM

Director

Cast

Bess Flowers as Party Guest
Basil Rathbone as Reggis Oliver
Clayton Moore as Sewell
George Brent as Tim Hanley
720p.BLU
934.69 MB
1280*974
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by boblipton 6 / 10

Top Talent

Singer Ilona Massey is suspected of being a German spy, sending key information over the radio. Scotland Yard, in the person of Basil Rathbone, and the FBI, in the person of George Brent, investigate, even as Miss Massey and Brent make goo-goo eyes at each other. Is she a spy or an unwitting tool? Does she care about Brent? Can they crack this case?

Rathbone's character is not top notch; his salient features are befuddlement at American slang, his ability to operate solo or in cooperation with the FBI at will, and the overacting he and Brent perform in conversation; I suppose that is meant to be arch.

It's a competent enough movie under the direction of Tim Whelan. Miss Massey is stunningly beautiful and her costumes are magnificent. This was clearly intended by producer Edward Small as a major production.

The six-times married Brent led an interesting life. He had been an IRA runner before he was 16, came to the US, went back to Ireland to act with the Abbey Players, then back to the US. He started working for the Warner Brothers in 1930, what ere he became a useful leading man for their women stars; he costarred with Bette Davis in eleven movies. He died in 1979, aged 75.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 8 / 10

A fun picture!

Director: TIM WHELAN. Screenplay: Howard Estabrook. Original screen story: E. Lloyd Sheldon and Jack DeWitt. Photo¬graphy: Hal Mohr. Supervising film editor: Grant Whytock. Film editor: William Claxton. Music composed by Lucien Moraweck, directed by Lud Gluskin. Art director: John DuCasse Schulze. Set decorator: Edward G. Boyle. Costumes: Gwen Wakeling. Production manager: Max Golden. Assistant director: Sam Nelson. Sound editor: T.K. Wood. Sound recording: Earl Sitar. Western Electric Sound System. Associate Producer: Stanley Logan. Producer: Edward Small.

Copyright 24 September 1941 by Edward Small Productions, Inc. Released through United Artists. Presented by Edward Small. New York opening at Loew's Criterion: 10 November 1941. U.S. release: 16 October 1941. Australian release: 22 January 1942. 9,209 feet. 102 minutes.

COMMENT: Even contemporary critics regarded these spy highjinks as utter nonsense, but International Lady is a fun picture all the same. Just look at that cast! Admittedly George Brent is stiff as a board, but the rest of the players have a grand time. Ilona Massey is delightfully seductive as a spy with flair, attended by a marvelous gallery of acolytes including Gene Lockhart's suavely vicious millionaire, George Zucco's sinister butler-in-disguise and Martin Kosleck's ruthlessly over-cautious contact man.

Basil Rathbone also has a made-to-order part, complete with a clever disguise that fooled even me! True, the dialogue is often cliched and the pace - particularly in the early stages - somewhat slow. But the players (and production values) make such considerable headway against the sticky currents of comic-book plotting, that watching even the most superficial or laughably impossible of these proceedings is a delightful way to spend 102 minutes.

Production values are amazingly lavish. Director Whelan makes the most of some numblingly large and enormously atmospheric sets (superbly lit by ace photographer Hal Mohr) stretching from a realistically bombarded street scene in the London blitz to a toweringly cobwebbed granary over the Canadian border.

Despite the critical thumbs-down, International Lady was quite successful at the boxoffice. If fans had any complaint, it wasn't the silliness of the story but the fact that the requirements of the plot both curtailed and constrained Miss Massey's singing. Never mind, that plot did give her the opportunity to slink around in some appealingly exotic Gwen Wakeling gowns. You can't have everything.

Reviewed by SimonJack 8 / 10

Nazi espionage film set in England and the U.S.

This independent 1941 film has a considerable cast of known actors of the day. It's one of just a few films Hollywood made about Nazi espionage in the Americas before and during World War II. Although actual German espionage didn't reach near the level shown in this film, it was very real.

"International Lady" was released in the U.S. and the UK in mid-October of 1941. The U.S. was not officially in the war, but was aiding the Allies, chiefly Great Britain and Russia. Less than two months later, the U.S. would be in the war after the Dec. 7 bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. And, within days after that, 33 members of the largest Nazi spy ring broken up in the U.S. were sentenced to prison. The Duquesne spy ring was organized in the late 1930s. Many of its members had civil service jobs.

It's interesting that this film doesn't directly name the Nazis or Germany as the enemy. It's mostly a story about British and American cooperation in routing a spy ring. But it also has some music, romance and comedy. The latter is in a friendly tete-a-tete between two clandestine Allied agents. Tim Hanley is an FBI agent and Reggie Oliver is from Scotland Yard. George Brent plays Hanley and Basil Rathbone plays Oliver.

This was before WW II when American intelligence work was done by the FBI and special offices of the Army and Navy. The British had its intelligence agencies - MI 6 and the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The American CIA didn't come into existence until after the war - taking over the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which had been set up in June 1942. So, before the U.S. entered the war, Scotland Yard likely would have been the British agency collaborating with the FBI (and vice versa) on investigating and stopping internal espionage.

Ilona Massey plays Carla Nillson, a prominent Norwegian singer who also was a German agent. This was a curious twist because Norway was a country whose people largely and actively fought and opposed the Nazis. One would think the screenplay would have Massey cast as a Hungarian or Austrian singer since she was born in Hungary, and had begun her singing career, in real life, in those countries.

Massey never achieved the stardom some in Hollywood had anticipated for her, but I think she's very good as an actress. She also has a beautiful soprano singing voice. This film has just two short scenes of her singing. She had roles and sang in two Hollywood musicals with Nelson Eddy.

Other prominent actors of the day in this film are Gene Lockhart, George Zucco, Frederick Worlock, Charles Brown and Clayton Moore (who played the Lone Ranger).

The extent of espionage in this film, and the complicated methods of communication, are much exaggerated. Before WW II, spying was something more mythical than real to an American public. But, within a few years after the end of the war, a doubtful public was awakened by the scandals of widespread Soviet Union espionage in the U.S. and Canada.

The light-hearted relationship between the Brent and Rathbone characters works well for this film. It's an interesting and entertaining spy thriller with doses of light comedy, romance and some pleasant music.

A favorite line in the film is when the FBI chief is talking to an Army colonel on the phone. He says, "But that's taking a big chance." The colonel replies, "What do you think armies do?"

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