Saturday Night Cinema: Secret Agent


Tonight's Saturday Night feature is a perennial Atlas favorite: Hitchcock, of course. Secret Agent is one of Hitchcock's "best and most disturbing British films."

Based on the novels of W. Somerset Maugham, Secret Agent is the second in a trilogy of Alfred Hitchcock spy movies (along with The 39 Steps and Sabotage). Set during WWI, John Gielgud plays British novelist Edgar Brodie, who discovers that a government agency has faked his own death.

A sharp and talented cast of actors — riveting. Peter Lorre is, as always, simply delicious (love his threads). The movie crackles with suspense.

I was forced to sit through a movie last night that recently played in movie theaters (the name escapes me) and was dumbstruck at the garbage that passes for "film." The man/woman dynamic is all but gone. Sex is rote, boring …… a body function akin to a bowel movment. The dialogue is stupid, sophomoric, embarrassing even. There are no adults anymore. And the portrayal of adults as drug-addled, promiscuous hippies is tragic. It is shocking how Hollywood has suicided one of the greatest art forms of the American experiment. If there were punishment for cultural crimes, what they have done to cinema would be a capital offense. Devastating. And the equally morally bankrupt media extols this filth, never once admitting the Emperor has no clothes.

Sit back and watch a wonderful film. Dwell not on what was lost, but on how we will regain our ground and purge this cultural cancer.

SECRET AGENT, as adapted from a play by Campbell Dixon which was based on W. Somerset Maugham's "Ashenden" spy stories; screen play by Charles Bennett; dialogue by Ian Hay, with continuity by Alma Reville; directed by Alfred Hitchcock; produced by Gaumont-British at the Roxy.

Elsa . . . . . Madeleine Carroll
The General . . . . . Peter Lorre
Ashenden . . . . . John Gielgud
Marvin . . . . . Robert Young
Caypor . . . . . Percy Marmont
Mrs. Caypor . . . . . Florence Kahn
R . . . . . Charles Carson
Lilli . . . . . Lilli Palmer

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