A good, if somewhat overlong, cloak-and-dagger thriller has been concocted from an actual World War II espionage case. Screenplay is based on the novel Operation Cicero, written by L.C. Moyzisch, Nazi agent in the espionage dealings with 'Cicero', the fabulous spy.

A good, if somewhat overlong, cloak-and-dagger thriller has been concocted from an actual World War II espionage case. Screenplay is based on the novel Operation Cicero, written by L.C. Moyzisch, Nazi agent in the espionage dealings with ‘Cicero’, the fabulous spy.

Mason portrays Ulysses Diello known to the Nazis as Cicero, a valet to the British Ambassador in Turkey. A cold, assured character, he decides to make himself a fortune by selling Allied war plans to the Germans. Cicero’s operations are moving forward without a hitch until the British begin to suspect someone within the Embassy and turn Michael Rennie loose on a counter-espionage job.

The script runs to considerable dialog in the first portions. However, pace quickens and becomes sock suspense drama, tight and tingling, when the story gets down to cases. Actual locations in Berlin, Ankara, Turkey, London and Istanbul were used for a documentary background effect.

1952: Nominations: Best Director, Screenplay

5 Fingers

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz; Producer Otto Lang; Screenplay Michael Wilson; Camera Norbert Brodine; Editor James B. Clark; Music Bernard Herrmann; Art Director Lyle Wheeler, George W. Davis

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1952. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

James Mason Danielle Darrieux Michael Rennie Walter Hampden Oscar Karlweis Herbert Berghof
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