Part of the credit must go to the Conrad novel, The Secret Agent, from which this Hitchcock thriller was adapted. (Not to be confused with the previous Hitchcock thriller, The Secret Agent, which was adapted from Maugham's Ashendon.) Little else in Hitchcock's product line, after all, can quite compare with this grubby, pavement-gray view of workaday espionage. There are still the expected sequences of bravura suspense-building, which in this context appear all the sillier. But the rest of it is well-regulated seediness. With Sylvia Sidney and Oskar Homolka. 1936.

Duncan Shepherd

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