“British Intelligence” - British Spy Sabotage Adventure
released on January 29, 1940
running time 60 minutes
The Actors: Boris Karloff (Valdar, the Bennett butler), Margaret Lindsay (Helene von Lorbeer), Bruce Lester (Frank Bennett), Leonard Mudie (Colonel James Yeats), Holmes Herbert (Arthur Bennett), Austin Fairman (George Bennett), William Bailey (British intelligence agent), Louise Brien (Miss Risdon, Bennett's secretary), Glen Cavender (under officer Pfalz), David Cavendish (Captain Lanark), Joe De Stefani (German Officer), Carlos De Stefani (Von Ritter), Clarence Derwent (the milkman), Arno Frey (German Junior Officer), Frederick Giermann (Otto Kurtz), Lawrence Grant (Brigadier General), Carl Harbaugh (German Soldier), Sam Harris (Cabinet Minister), Winnifred Harris (Mrs. Maude Bennett), Leyland Hodgson (Lord Sudbury), Stuart Holmes (Luchow, German soldier), Willy Kaufman (German Corporal), Crauford Kent (Commander Phelps), Morton Lowry (Lieutenant Borden), Lester Matthews (Henry Thompson), Frank Mayo (Brixton, intelligence agent), Paul Panzer (peasant)
We Fight Wars Because We Crave Peace So Ardently
Margaret Lindsay is a spy in this World War One adventure. The beautiful actress can speak fluent German and fluent British English, even though she was not born in either England or Germany.
Margaret Kies was born in Dubuque Iowa, and as an adult wanted to become an actor. After failing to get work in America, she went to London and became quite well-known on the British stage, quickly learning the manner of speech that she needed to pass as a Brit.
Returning to America, she discovered that Hollywood needed more British talent, so the ‘British’ stage actress was signed to a contract, and appeared in movies and television shows from 1932 until 1974.
Our adventure is about World War One in Britain, and was produced while World War Two was beginning, and London was enduring nightly Blitz bombing attacks that were devastating the city.
America would not be ready to join the war until the attack on Pearl Harbor, and that would be several months in the future. But even though Americans were not ready to join the fight, Hollywood producers were eager to lend the only kind of support that they could, and this story is a prime example.
As our adventure begins, we learn that every secret that the British military has is known by the enemy very quickly. A shadowy spy named Strindler is the culprit, but no one even knows what he looks like. As the adventure continues, we watch spies and counter-spies, and even we are not sure who is working for whom.
Discovering the identity of the master-spy will take more intelligence than I could muster as I watched the clues. It will take British Intelligence to untangle this mess, and prevent the War Cabinet from being blown to bits! Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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