One of Alfred Hitchcock's finest pre-Hollywood films, the 1936 Secret Agent stars a young John Gielgud as a British spy whose death is faked by his intelligence superiors. Reinvented with a new identity and outfitted with a wife (Madeleine Carroll), Gielgud's character is sent on assignment with a cold-blooded accomplice (Peter Lorre) to assassinate a German agent. En route, the counterfeit couple keeps company with an affable American (Robert Young), who turns out to be more than he seems after the wrong man is murdered by Gielgud and Lorre. Dense with interwoven... ideas about false names and real identities, about appearances as lies and the brutality of the hidden, and about the complicity of those who watch the anarchy that others do, Secret Agent declared that Alfred Hitchcock was well along the road to mastery as a filmmaker and, more importantly, knew what it was he wanted to say for the rest of his career. --Tom Keogh [show more]
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