5 Fingers (1952)

5 Fingers (1952), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.

Who is this cool, distinguished man offering to sell British secrets to the Germans in neutral Turkey? The early fun is following him back home to the British embassy where we discover him to be a servant, valet to the ambassador, in fact. As such he is nearly invisible. For a while.

This WW2 spy thriller tries for a comic gloss, like something Billy Wilder might have done. I think he would have produced a better, livelier treatment.

This is mostly a James Mason vehicle, imperially cool under stressful conditions.

Also with Danielle Darrieux, last seen in The Rage of Paris (1938) and The Earrings of Madame de... (1953), who is a busted Polish countess with money on her mind: "Please, Moyzich, don't look at me as if you had a source of income other than your salary".

Based on a true story, although how much is true is disputed. The author of the book was Moyzisch, the timid German embassy attaché.

Historical note: the aristocratic German ambassador who dislikes the Gestapo is Franz von Papen, who was Chancellor during the late Weimar period.

Bernard Herrmann score, in this case somewhat mismatched with the semi-comic tone.

Fox DVD-R, not very good quality.