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actual 9.5mm film frame
SB.752 (4 reel UK 9.5mm silent film release by Pathéscope October 1933)
"THE SPY" ("DIE SPIONE") GER Mar1928 Dir: Fritz Lang ------------------------ Fritz Lang-film GmbH 178mins (at 16fps) B/W Produced by: Erich Pommer (Approx 45mins on 9.5mm) Released by: Universum-Film-Verlein (UFA) Produced at Ufa-Atelier, Neubabelsberg, Brandenburg, Germany Original novel "Spione" by: Thea von Harbou Screenplay by: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou Photography: Fritz Arno Wagner Art Direction: Otto Hunte, Karl Volibrecht Music: Werner R. Heymann
German poster American poster
Cast: Willy Fritsch .......... Number 326/324 (secret agent/Detective Donald Tremaine) Rudolph Klein-Rogge .... Haghi Gerda Maurus ........... Sonja Baranikowa / Lya Straska (Russian spy) Lien Deyers ............ Kitty Louis Ralph ............ Hans Morrier/Morriera Fritz Rasp ............. Colonel Jellusic Craighall Sherry ....... Burton Jason / Miles Jason (head of secret service) Herta von Walther ...... Lady Leslane Lupu Pick .............. Akira Masimoto (Japanese head of security) Paul Hörbiger .......... Franz (chauffeur)
Drama - Vital diplomatic papers are stolen from the Novonia Embassy, but a man who knows the identity of the thief is killed just before revealing the name to the Consul. The mysterious Chief behind the outrage is Haghi, who runs a large bank and is confined to a wheel chair. Mr Jason, head of the Secret Service, appoints Agent 324 to the case, but Haghi sends top spy Lya Straska to set a trap. She pretends to shoot a man in the Hotel Olympic and hides in 324's appartment. The pair fall in love and Straska refuses to continue with the plan, Dr Matsumoto, a Japanese diplomat, tells a devastated 324 that Lya was a spy and a dangerous woman.
The doctor later takes in
Kitty, a young woman found abandoned in the street. He then sends
three couriers to deliver envelopes containing a secret treaty
beween Japan and Britain. Haghi's men kill the couriers, but the
treaty is not in any of the envelopes. Matsumoto has kept this
himself, but it is stolen from him by Kitty. As a result the
Doctor commits suicide. Haghi despatches Lya to smuggle the
treaty over the border via Novograd, but Jason also sends 324 to the
area by train. However he is nearly killed when the villainous
Eric Loff causes a crash with an express in the Altmuhl Tunnel.
Straska arrives with the rescue party and together with 324
pursues Loff who broadcasts a warning to the Chief before
committing suicide. Lya is captured by Haghi, who reveals that he
can walk and is in fact Nemo, a clown at the local theatre. Jason
and his men raid the Bank, rescue the woman and rush to the
theatre. Seeing that he is trapped, Haghi shoots himself.
(Description from Maurice Trace's fantastic "Guide to Pathescope Silent 9.5mm Dramas, Thrillers, Adventures and Western Films")
Pathéscope Monthly - October 1933
Letter enclosed with October 1933 Pathéscope Monthly
1939 Pathéscope Film Catalogue write-up
Watch opening clip from the Eureka DVD "Spione"
Watch some more highlights from "Spione" Watch a 9.5mm 'trailer' reel "Extracts From the Pathescope Catalogue"
Notes: 1. A German film, the original title was "Die Spione" and Pathéscope released it in the UK on 9.5mm as "The Spy" - a literal translation. The film was released for the cinema in the USA as "Spies". 2. Co-writer was Thea von Harbou Lang's wife, despite Lang at the time having an affair with Gerda Maurus. Lang had previously 'pinched' Thea von Harbou from her first husband, Klein-Rogge, who played Haghi. What a complicated situation behind the scenes!
3. Different language versions used slightly different names for a few of the characters - some are shown in the cast list above.
4. The Nine Five print omits many key sequences and characters from the original feature, including Lady Leslane and Colonel Jellusic. In addition the surprise of the various identities of Haghi is missing - Nemo does not appear until the final scenes and there is no mention of Agent 719. 5. In the original German feature the hero was given no name but simply Agent 326. In the 35mm British prints (which were severely cut) the man is still 326, but called Donald Tremaine. However for some strange reason Pathéscope on all their intertitles named him Agent 324 - even though there are several shots of an identity photo with the number 326 clearly marked! 6. The film was also released as 4 reels 9.5mm in France as SB.7520 "Les Espions"; in Germany SB.752 "Spione" snd in Italy "La Spie" By 1955 "The Spy" had disappeared from the UK Pathescope 9.5mm Film Catalogue.
(Extra Info gratefully added from Maurice Trace and Dave Wyatt)
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