Secret Agent

  • U
  • Alfred Hitchcock (1936)
  • UK
  • 82 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

John Gielgud might not be everyone's ideal Hitchcock hero, and contemporary critics were quick to point out his lack of derring-do, but, in fact, he acquits himself admirably in this engaging thriller. A script based on a play that was itself adapted from a clutch of Somerset Maugham's Ashenden stories was bound to have more than its fair share of loose ends, but such is the committed playing, particularly by Robert Young and the amazing Peter Lorre, and the director's genius for generating suspense out of ordinary situations and locations, that they scarcely seem to matter.

Plot Summary

A novelist discovers British intelligence has faked his death so he can carry out a mission on their behalf. Assisted by a female agent and a professional assassin, he is sent to Switzerland to identify and eliminate a German spy. Alfred Hitchcock's First World War espionage thriller, starring John Gielgud, Peter Lorre and Madeleine Carroll.

Cast and crew


Edgar Brodie / Richard Ashenden
John Gielgud
Elsa Carrington
Madeleine Carroll
The General
Peter Lorre
Robert Marvin
Robert Young (1)
Percy Marmont
Mrs Caypor
Florence Kahn
Lilli Palmer
Charles Carson
Michel Saint-Denis
Andrea Malandrinos
Captain Anderson
Tom Helmore


Alfred Hitchcock

Other Information

Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Gaumont British Dist
Available on video and DVD
Certificate U