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Secret Agent (1936)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0

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Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 3,664

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Movie Info

Based on the novels of W. Somerset Maugham, The 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. He is then given orders to go to Switzerland to kill a German agent. He goes by the name of Richard Ashenden and travels with secret agent Elsa Carrington (Madeleine Carroll), who poses as his wife. Richard joins

Jan 7, 2003

Scott Entertainment

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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (0) | DVD (3)

One of the weirdest movies Alfred Hitchcock ever made.

September 17, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Early Hitchcock thriller with early Robert Young starring.

August 14, 2007
Video-Reviewmaster.com

One of Hitchcock's best -- and most disturbing -- British films.

March 29, 2004
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of Hitchcock's fair thrillers made in Britain.

December 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Secret Agent

Well, considering that this was based on some works by W. Somerset Maugham, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starred John Gielgud and Peter Lorre that it would be one terrific WWI spy thriller.

Surprisingly as it turns out, this film is pretty bad. It's bland, dull, but worst of all boring. Gielgud looks bored and uninterested, Lorre feels out of place, and the plot (three agents join up to take out an undercover spy, but things get complicated when two of them suffer crises of conscience) should be awesome, but I just couldn't get involved or care about it. On top of that, the poicture and sound quality are both really pretty bad at times.

I know that not everything Hitch did was good (at least), but this is just alarmingly terrible. It's as if while making this he had overdosed on apathy pills and stopped trying.

The big train crash climax isn't great, mostly because of the silly and bad effects, but it at least got my attention since it was something happening, instead of lots of nothing taking place.


Even if you're a Hitch diehard, just spare yourself a mess and skip this.
December 30, 2011
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I love Lorre, but his character wasn't that great in this movie. Plus, I didn't get the plot. Maybe I should see it again, but the movie quality is so horrible it's hard to watch.
September 15, 2010
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

Decent early Hitchcock with all his classic elements here but also still in their nascent form. As with most of his beginning films the picture itself is very dark and murky, probably due to age of the film and budget constraints at the time. Good performances from all the cast, Lorre stands out as usual.
March 19, 2010
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

You have to love really classic Hitchcock to enjoy this. The usual Hitchcock Twist, easy to guess as I did half way through. Its from 1936, opening Credits, had Ireland free State listed. A very Young Robert Young and Peter Lorre. What shade is Lorre??? Anyway a Spy vs Spy Thriller, film was decent quality. It came with 11 other hitchcock movies. 2 1/2 stars.
June 18, 2009
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Geheimagent (DE)
  • Secret Agent (1936) (CA)
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