No profession is more cinematic than an agent of espionage and Fritz Lang’s stylish thriller has never been surpassed in flash, dash and sneaky doings. Grand fun, especially if you are a devotee of modern spy pictures and want to see one of the great building blocks of the genre.
Fritz Lang creates a paranoid and deadly world of spy vs. spy in this fun genre picture. Willy Fritsch plays No. 326, an unnamed agent who is charged with bringing down a sophisticated network of spies, assassins and saboteurs led by Rudolf Klein-Rogge.
Exciting news for Fritz Lang fans! Two of his genre films, Spies and Woman in the Moon, are about to be released on Bluray in North America with sparkling 2K transfers! Both discs will be available for sale on February 23, 2016 but I got an early peek and I’m sharing the experience with you.
I thought you might appreciate an update on the Snoopathon.
I am quite thrilled with both the quantity and quality of participants who have signed on. I am also thrilled at the diverse selection of films that everyone chose. We will truly be looking at classic spy films and television from every angle! You can read the roster here.
And, just as a reminder, I will not be assigning days to the participants. Upload your post and then send me word via comment, email, Twitter, etc. and I will add you to the list.
If you were thinking of joining but are not sure what to contribute, here are some ideas.
The Great Game (Britain vs. Russia in India) could sure use some coverage and what better way to do it than with Errol Flynn?
Jet Pilot (1957)
Here’s a hot mess of a movie but fascinating as hot messes go. Howard Hughes spent the better part of a decade re-editing it to include the very latest fighter plane technology but to no avail. Terrible script served with a heaping helping of sexism.
Operator 13 (1934)
Samurai Spy (1965)
Another Japanese classic with an element of espionage and it also a very impressive performance from Tatsuya Nakadai, one of my very favorite actors from Japan’s golden age of cinema. (Mr. Nakadai is now 81 years young and still acting.)
Passion of Spies (1967)
Think that the Russians can’t be the good guys? Or be animated?
Mare Nostrum (1926)
Mata Hari gets the silent treatment with Alice Terry and Antonio Moreno starring under the direction of Rex Ingram.
The Great Bond Shortage of 2014
So far, the claimed James Bond films are Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, From Russia With Love and the 2006 version of Casino Royale. (I am waiving the date limit for James Bond films.)
Who is up for the wacky hijinks of the Roger Moore years? From the surreal turkey that is Moonraker, to the genuinely excellent For Your Eyes Only to the gonzo A View to a Kill, you cannot accuse the Moore era of being boring. (He is my personal favorite. Scandalous but true.)
What about the dour Timothy Dalton duo of The Living Daylights and License to Kill?
Or the 1990’s excesses of the Pierce Brosnan films?
If you really want something a bit… different, why not try this little gem from 1954:
The very first appearance of Mr. Bond from a 1954 TV movie. Of course, our hero is Jimmy Bond of the CIA. Yes, really.
Shh, this is spy stuff.
I had so much fun at the Sleuthathon that I just had to have another event!
Espionage thrillers are as old as the movies themselves and they come in every flavor you can imagine. There are zany spies, sexy spies, realistic spies, adventurous spies…
The Snoopathon will celebrate all things spy-related in classic film! Here are the particulars:
When: Jun 1, 2 and 3, 2014
Where: Right here!
Banners? They’re at the bottom of the post.
Duplicates? No duplicates, please. However, you are free to claim an entire series or a single entry in a series. For example, if someone has already snagged the entire Matt Helm series, you are free to focus on a single film from the series.
Scheduling? I will not be assigning days to bloggers. Pick a time within the event dates that works best for you. Once you post, please send me a link. Is that easy or what?
How do I sign up? You can leave a comment or send me an email.
What do you mean by spy-related and classic?
Spy-related: The movies covered should have spying play a significant role in the story. I am pretty flexible about this.And your spy movie can be a comedy, a drama, an action film… As long as it has a fair amount of spies, it’s fine!
Generally speaking, your spies should work for a government or a sinister secret organization, though freelancers like The Saint (who could be a detective, thief or spy as the mood struck him) or the Scarlet Pimpernel (whose espionage was aimed at saving lives) are quite welcome. You may also cover series characters who take on the role of spy in a one-off film or episode. However, a detective going undercover amongst criminals is not admissible unless he or she stumbles onto a nest of spies. The same for caper films. Entertaining, to be sure, but not really spy films.
Please note that the main character of the film needn’t be a spy. In fact, some of the best spy films are about civilians, cops, reporters or the odd nightclub singer who accidentally fall in with the secret agent set.
I realize that the spy film genre is quite broad so feel free to contact me if you are not sure about your selection.
Classic: I mean that the film must have been released and the television show must have premiered on or before 1970.
Special Exception: James Bond. Since the Eon Bond series has been released continuously since 1962 and since he is the single biggest name in spying, I have opted to allow any film in the series to be reviewed. You can cover anything from Dr. No to Skyfall. Please note that this is for James Bond only.
What else can be covered? Please feel free to review books or plays, if you wish. I only ask that they have some connection to classic film or television. (For example, a review of the original James Bond novels.)
What about remakes or sequels that were made after 1970? In general, no. I am making an exception for Mr. Bond only because of his status as top spy and the fact that the series has been made without interruption. However, if you wanted to cover, say, The Saint series (which ran from 1962-69) and then discuss the 1997 big picture adaptation, that would be fine. However, you wouldn’t be able to cover the 1997 film solo.
One more important thing:
While I fully expect the 1960’s to be THE decade in this event, please consider covering spy-related entertainment from earlier eras.
Films I am particularly keen to see claimed are marked with an *
The General, Hands Up!*, The Secret Game, The Hessian Renegades, Mare Nostrum, Spies (Spione)*, The Love Light
Mata Hari, Duck Soup*, Operator 13, The 39 Steps, The Spy in Black*, Secret Agent X-9, Confessions of a Nazi Spy
1940’s: Contraband, G-Men vs. The Black Dragon*,
All Through the Night*, My Favorite Blonde, Once Upon a Honeymoon, The Mask of Dimitrios
1950’s: Decision Before Dawn,
5 Fingers, Springfield Rifle, Betrayed, A Bullet for Joey, The Man Who Knew Too Much*, The Shaggy Dog*
As for the 1960’s, I would love to see
The Ipcress File covered.
Movies Silently | Hotel Imperial (1927) plus its remake, Five Graves to Cairo and coverage of Her Man o’ War (1926)
Outspoken and Freckled | The Third Man (1949)
Nitrate Diva | Hands Up! (1926)
Once Upon a Screen | The 39 Steps (1935)
Pre-Code.com | Mata Hari (1931)
Destroy All Fanboys | The Ipcress File (1965) and Deadlier than the Male (1967)
Big V Riot Squad | Batman (1943) a wartime serial that recasts the Caped Crusader as a government agent battling Axis spies
Nitrate Glow | The General (1926)
Margaret Perry | Article Krystyna Skarbek (real-life Bond girl… heck, a female James Bond. Or, actually, he is a male Krystyna Skarbek.)
Spoilers | Torn Curtain (1966)
Shadow Cabaret | The Mr. Moto series
The Vintage Cameo | The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Girls Do Film | My Favorite Blonde (1942)
The Stalking Moon | Our Man Flint (1966) and In Like Flint (1967)
Phantom Empires | The Adventures of Tartu (1943)
Culture Spy | From Russia With Love and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Tales of the Easily Distracted | Arabesque (1966)
Mildred’s Fatburgers | Duck Soup (1933)
A Shroud of Thoughts | Goldfinger (1964)
Critica Retro | Notorious (1946)
Movie Fanfare | The Nasty Rabbit (1966)
Forgotten Films | The Ambushers (Matt Helm, 1967)
Film: Take As Directed | Where Eagles Dare (1968)
#Bond_age_ | Casino Royale (2006)*
Greg McCambley hosted by #Bond_age_ | The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68) and Mission: Impossible (1966-73)
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear | My Favorite Spy (1951)
Cinematic Catharsis | Spies (1928)
The Counterfeit Writer | The Counterfeit Traitor (1962)
Silver Screenings | Secret Agent (1936)
Cinema Monolith | All Through the Night (1941)
Caftan Woman | Arrest Bulldog Drummond (1939)
Bubblegum Aethetics | The Avengers (1961-69)
Classic Film Freak | The Spy in Black (1939)
Ramblings of a cinephile | The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Mike’s Take on the Movies | Invisible Agent (1942)
Speakeasy | The Man Who Never Was (1956)
Immortal Ephemera | Secret Service (1931)
Retro Warehouse | Charade (1963)
hardboiledgirl | Pickup on South Street (1953)
A Thousand Words | After Tonight (1933)
verenahartmann | Skyfall (2012)
Random Pictures | Army of Shadows (1969)
The Joy and Agony of Movies | Five Fingers (1952)
Silver Scenes | The Shaggy Dog (1959), Above Suspicion (1943), Octopussy (1983)
I See A Dark Theater | I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
Silent-ology | The Hessian Renegades (1909)
*No date limit on James Bond films, all entries in the series are eligible.