The Spy in Black

The Spy in Black

Michael Powell (1939)

U Certificate


Our Score
The first collaboration of celebrated film-makers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, this is a bold and atmospheric spy drama set during the First World War. Conrad Veidt turns in a convincing performance as a German submarine commander on a mission to sink the British fleet. Dispatched to the Orkney Islands, Veidt makes contact with a German agent who turns out to be local schoolteacher Valerie Hobson, and is soon wondering whether she's on his side. Strong writing combines with striking cinematography and talented direction to make this a satisfying entertainment.


A German spy falls for an apparently sympathetic schoolteacher during a First World War mission, unaware the object of his affections is in fact an English double agent, a situation that threatens to jeopardise an operation to destroy the British fleet in the Orkneys in 1917. Powell and Pressburger's romantic drama, starring Conrad Veidt, Valerie Hobson and Marius Goring.

Cast & Crew

Captain Hardt Conrad Veidt
Joan, the schoolmistress Valerie Hobson
Commander Davis Blacklock Sebastian Shaw
Lieutenant Schuster Marius Goring
Anne Burnett June Duprez
Reverend Hector Matthews Athole Stewart
Mrs Matthews Agnes Lauchlan
Mrs Sedley Helen Haye
Director Michael Powell
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteAvailable on: video and DVD