in about 100 words or less
UK 86m, B&W
Director: Alfred Hitchcock; Cast: John Gielgud, Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young
Secret Agent is based on the 1928 collection of stories by former spy and author, W. Somerset Maugham, whose character “Ashenden” is dispatched to Switzerland to kill a German agent during WWI. Despite the rather mundane title, Secret Agent is an intriguing story of espionage and romance, in which a rookie spy is provided with an enthusiastic female agent posing as his wife, and an eccentric assistant known as “The General”, played by scene-stealing Lorre. Finding his new work less than agreeable, Ashenden and company make an attempt to complete their mission with disastrous results (Klaus Ming January 2014).