29 September 2014 | atlasmb
Clever Story of Undercover Espionage
Adapted from a successful play, "Three Faces East" is a clever spy thriller set during WWI. Constance Bennett plays the role of Frances Hawtree aka Agent Z-1, undercover spy for the German Intelligence Service. She is assigned to infiltrate the estate of Sir Winston Chamberlain--First Lord of the Admiralty--and meet with her contact there, where her mission will be explained.
The mansion is populated with a butler of ambiguous intentions named Valdar (Erich von Stroheim), two maids, Lady Chamberlain, their son Arthur, and two members of Chamberlain's staff.
I found the very beginning of the film to be overly dramatic, but the story quickly becomes more believable, and more interesting, when Frances arrives at the Chamberlain estate. What follows is a cat and mouse game, with twists and turns to keep the viewer guessing. The contents of Lord Chamberlain's safe may hold the key to victory in Europe. Try to guess the truth as alliances change and the lines between romance and duty become blurred.
The acting is fine and Erich von Stroheim is delightful. The script is tightly written, moving along at a brisk pace.