Secret Agent - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Secret Agent Reviews

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December 1, 2016
Surely the source of many of the tropes of spy films to come. Held together by charismatic performances from Peter Lorre and Jonn Gielgud and a cracking story. The Old Master keeps it all on track with masterful directing.
Super Reviewer
½ September 6, 2016
Didn't really like this one that much. Not one of Hitchcock's good ones.
August 9, 2016
This film has excellent cinematography and its similarities with the James Bond films can't be a coincidence. Also has some shots that were copied in Topaz among others.
June 30, 2016
Boring, lacklustre offering. Considering The Crew Involved It Is Surprising How Bad It Is. I Got Confused As To The 'Comedy' Aspect Because ain't All Seemed A Bit Befuddled With Other Genres. In The End, Hitchcock Shoulda Steered Clear Of This One...I Don't Think It Was A Successful Project At All.
June 19, 2016
This is one of Alfred Hitchcock's earlier British films. It stars Peter Lorre and John Gielgud. Not a great film, but it does have some of the Master's flourishes and is certainly worth checking out for fans.
April 28, 2016
Alors qu'il sortait de deux bons films, Alfred Hitchcock retombe dans ses travers de début de carrière avec Secret Agent, un thriller particulièrement intéressant qui envoie John Gielgud dans les mains de Peter Lorre, à l'intérieur d'un hôtel suisse. Seul Lorre est réellement performant ici, prenant tout à la dérision quand tout ceci est bien trop sérieux. Le film conte une histoire d'espionnage d'une lenteur indécente qui n'apporte rien d'original au genre, déjà en 1936. On oubliera donc très vite Secret Agent, où même les quelques scènes d'action (ce qu'Hitchcock réussissait depuis 2 ou 3 films) sont laides et anémiques.
½ January 23, 2015
A film that's not quite sure what it wants to be, in many ways providing an early prototype for the James Bond films (complete with annoying racial stereotype and bizarre sexual politics), but neither the plot or action are good enough to past as a thriller; it hadn't yet been worked out how to sex-up the titular job. At times it appears to veer into send-up, there's a nice twist at the end of the first act which could have been played better into a crisis of conscience, but it is portrayed closer to something from a comedy of errors.
January 20, 2015
Puliendo su estilo Hitchcock en esta pelicula de espias y dobles identidades, mas adelante nos daria grandes peliculas como Encadenados y Con la muerte en los talones
October 13, 2014
Perfect Hitchcockian Mystery/Thriller.
June 13, 2014
A very good movie; the scene in which the dog cries out is agonizingly suspenseful...and there are others; Lorre is great! B+
February 17, 2014
More bland drama, with good Hitchcock cinematography and a decent plot. The characters are okay, and the pacing isn't too bad. Yet it's not the best, nor the most interesting.
December 25, 2013
A trio of secret agents is involved in a love triangle as they try to solve a mystery. Secret Agent is one of the most forgettable films by Hitchcock perhaps because the filmmaker himself doesn't feel as inspired here as in the best of his work, or indeed even the most of his work. The screenplay is sometimes careless and the plot has an unbarable tendency to tangle, though it is uncertain whether it is Hitchcock's lack of proper handling of a thriller that on paper looked quite similar to other ones by the British filmmaker anyways or the screenplay itself. Nevertheless, a stong cast and some good narrative choices make it entertaining and a little rewarding anyways.
½ September 25, 2013
The Hitchcockan trademark here is the twist, not mind-blowing but shocking enough in terms of the identity of the spy. But it is more like a drama about love triangle after all, only saved by the great and entertaining Peter Lorre.
January 16, 2013
I almost feel like I can't properly say anything about this film since the print I viewed on DVD was so bad that numerous shots were just indecipherable blobs of blackness. My imagination was able to fill in some of the gaps but it was clear that this is not one of Hitchcock's finest.
His style is obviously abundant with a seemingly extra dose of his humor coming forth in this one thanks to the extremely fun performance by Peter Lorre.
It is clear that many aspects of this film were used in later films by Hitch (as well as numerous films from the spy genre in general) so we should definitely note 'Secret Agent's importance as a trendsetter in that regard.
May 24, 2012
Wrong trailer fort this excellent movie.
May 23, 2012
Creative & Carefully Crafted Spy Story--Classic early Hitchcock!!
½ April 9, 2012
John Gielgud's performance is wooden and very unsympathetic and Peter Lorre's character while meant to provide comic relief is downright annoying. A disappointing movie all round.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
March 16, 2012
I don't really know what to make of this picture. It is not one of Hitchcock's best or is it any thrilling. All I know is that it is a spy drama set in the first world war. John Gielgud plays British novelist Edgar Brodie who discovers that a government agency has faked his own death. Brodie is then given orders to go to Switzerland to kill a German agent. Brodie travels with secret agent Elsa Carrington (Madeleine Carroll), who poses as his wife. Richard joins professional killer the General (Peter Lorre) to look for clues.

That is all I know...I was mostly lost in the film's plot my mind kept on wondering as key information passed by. "Secret Agent" isn't a bad film but I wish it was more intriguing just as intrigued I was when watching "Easy Virtue". Still, this is a film I would recommend. Just try not to be bored.
½ March 11, 2012
This is definitely one of the lesser Hitchcock films that I've seen. Lacking in either the wit or thrills for which is appeared to be striving, rather it's a bit of a non-event.
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
December 30, 2011
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.
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