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British Intelligence

USA 1940
produced by
Warner Brothers/First National
directed by Terry O. Morse
starring Boris Karloff, Margaret Lindsay, Bruce Lester, Leonard Mudie, Holmes Herbert, Austin Fairman, Lester Matthews, John Graham Spacey, Louise Brien, Frank Mayo, Dennis D'Auburn, Winifred Harris, Maris Wrixon, Evan Thomas, Frederick Giermann, Leonard Willey, Crauford Kent, Morton Lowry, Leyland Hodgson
screenplay by Lee Katz, based on the play Three Faces East by Anthony Paul Kelly

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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France 1917 (time of World War One, in case you wondered): All the efforts of the british army to attack the Germans are thwarted when the Germans seem to anticipate each & every of the British's moves. This can mean only one thing: The Brits have been infiltrated, by Germany's top-agent von Spindler, so the Brits send pilot Frank Bennett (Bruce Lester) to pick up British top agent Williams from behind enemy lines (& of course, nobody knows what Williams looks like). But Bennet's plane is shot down & he wakes up in an army hospital to look into the eyes of nurse Helen (Margaret Lindsay), whom he immediately falls in love with. The next day she is gone.

The German headquarters: Top agent Frances Hautry (Margaret Lindsay - again) is ordered to go to England as a German refugee & seek shelter at Arthur Bennett's (Holmes Herbert) place, him being the foreign minister - & Frank's father too. There she is to make contact with von Strindler.

... of course, Frances is actually a double agent to capture Strindler for the British, but only her & colonel Yeats (Leonard Mudie) know that. Soon she is contacted by a German agent, Valdar (Boris Karloff), Bennett's servant, & it soon turns out that pretty much everyone is working for either the British, the Germans or both, even Valdar has a job on the side working for Scotland Yard uncovering German spies. Before long, even Frances is found out to be a German spy, but not yet arrested since there is no real evidence yet.

Finally, when the cabinet is meeting in the Bennett household, & Frank returns home from the war & immediately recognizes Frances as nurse Helen (& she has to reveal herself to him as top agent Williams), Valdar is revealing his devilish plan to Helen: During an airraid that is to start any minute now, he plans to set a timebomb to blow up the entire British cabinet in one go. & yes, Valdar really is really von Strindler. But Frances/Helen/Williams cabn thwart his plans, get rid of the bomb before it can do any damage, & in the end, Valdar/von Strindler is killed by a German bomb himself during the air raid.

& finally, Frances is revealed to be a British top agent & she & she & Frank can finally become a romantic couple.

 


In British Intelligence, Boris Karloff gives his usual great performance, & most of the other actors are pretty good either, plus the film does feature some impresive footage of bombings ... but the story of the movie is rather bad, pretty much everybody at one point or another turns out to be agent, double-agent, triple- or quadruple-agent, to a point where the audience stops caring, as many of the double-agent characters are totally insignificant to the story. Not really good.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD