Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Approved   |    |  Drama, War


Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) Poster

FBI agent Ed Renard investigates the pre-War espionage activities of the German-American Bund.

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6.8/10
1,262

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  • Edward G. Robinson and Wolfgang Zilzer in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
  • Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
  • Lya Lys in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
  • Edward G. Robinson and Francis Lederer in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
  • George Sanders in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)
  • Edward G. Robinson and Francis Lederer in Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

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Awards

4 wins.

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


25 July 2008 | MartinHafer
8
| Pretty exciting and rather brave as well
In 1939, most Americans really could have cared less about the war clouds in Europe. In hindsight, most Americans felt our intervention in WWI was a mistake and now a strong sense of isolationism permeated the country. Because of this, most American films ignored that there was a Nazi Germany or took a very neutral attitude (such as in IDIOT'S DELIGHT and CHARLIE CHAN AT THE OLYMPICS). However, by about 1939, a few domestic film studios finally began showing the Nazis as "the bad guys" and CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY was one of the first. Even the wonderful STORM WARNING (probably the best Hollywood anti-Nazi films made before America joined the war) didn't appear for another year. Because of this, CONFESSIONS OF A NAZI SPY is a very brave film--showing the Nazis as evil and bent on warfare against America.

The film is an espionage film and the first half is told solely from the viewpoint of Nazi agents living in America. The star of the film. FBI agent Edward G. Robinson, doesn't even appear until about the midway point--at which point the US government springs into action to root out these traitors. It is all told in a very realistic and believable manner--mostly because it was based on a real pre-war case in the US. Exciting, well acted (with many underplayed roles despite how easily the whole thing could have been portrayed) and stirring--this is a great film.

By the way, although the film was made in 1939, the version just recently shown on Turner Classic Movies must have had additional pieces added sometime after 1939--as they talk about the fall of Norway and Holland--something that did not occur until 1940.

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