British Agent (1934)





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British Agent starred the Hungarian/British actor Leslie Howard in the title role, was directed by full-fledged Hungarian Michael Curtiz, and costarred American leading lady Kay Francis as a Russian spy. Based on the memoirs of R. H. Bruce Lockhart, who had been the unofficial British emissary to the Russian Revolutionary government in 1917, British Agent spends more time on its romantic subplot than in recreating the birth of Bolshevism. Leslie Howard's purpose in this film is to dissuade the Bolsheviks from signing a separate treaty with the World War I German regime. It is obvious to modern-day viewers that Howard is merely looking after Britain's interests and has no concern for the Russians; this was par for the course in a 1930s film, but does not play well with less jingoistic audiences of the 1990s. The most interesting aspect of British Agent is the performance of saturnine Irving Pichel as a young Josef Stalin.
Classics , Drama
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Leslie Howard
as Stephen 'Steve' Locke
Kay Francis
as Elena Moura
William Gargan
as Bob Medill
Phillip Reed
as Gaston LaFarge
Philip Reed
as Gaston LeFarge
Irving Pichel
as Sergei Pavlov
Walter Byron
as Under Secretary Stanley
Cesar Romero
as Tito Del Val
J. Carroll Naish
as Commissioner for War
Ivan Simpson
as 'Poohbah' Evans
Gregory Gaye
as Kolinoff
Halliwell Hobbes
as Sir Walter Carrister
Mary Forbes
as Lady Treherne
Doris Lloyd
as Lady Carrister
Paul Porcasi
as Romano
George C. Pearce
as Lloyd George
Tenen Holtz
as Lenin
Thomas Braidon
as Cabinet member
Basil Lynn
as Cabinet Member
Fred Walton
as Cabinet member
Winter Hall
as Cabinet Member
Olaf Hytten
as Undersecretary
Frank Lackteen
as Suspect
Robert Wilbur
as Suspect
Lew Harvey
as Suspect
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Critic Reviews for British Agent

All Critics (1)

Sluggish political drama.

Full Review… | August 12, 2012
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Audience Reviews for British Agent


You made me swallow the last piece of gum in Russia. During World War 1 a British agent has been sent to Russia to observe the relationship between the Germans and Russians. As the Russians become independent the country could go in a lot of directions. A rival female is also in Russia and the two spies fall in love. They are pitted against each other and will need to decide if they pit their loyalty against their feelings. ?While you sit there talking about your ideas I fight for mine.? Michael Curtiz, director of Casablanca, White Christmas, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Mildred Pierce, The Vagabond King, Kid Galahad, and Captain Blood, delivers British Agent. The storyline for this picture is fairly interesting and unpredictable with wonderful characters. This picture is slow at times but I adored the acting and felt the script was well written. The cast includes Leslie Howard, Kay Francis, and Cesar Romero. ?Ain?t much fun to watch a game and not take part in it.? I DVR?d this film because it was directed by one of my favorite directors, Michael Curtiz. The film is fairly entertaining but far from his best work. I felt Kay Francis was excellent and delivered her role perfectly. The film is worth watching once as the love story is well done and the conclusion comes together perfectly. This is definitely worth watching once but not worth adding to your DVD collection. ?I?ve done all the supporting I want to do.? Grade: C+/B- (6.5)

Kevin Robbins
Kevin Robbins

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