Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)

Genres - Action, Drama, Mystery, Spy Film  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film, Unglamorized Spy Film, War Spy Film  |   Release Date - May 6, 1939 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Bold for its time (just prior to World War II), Confessions of a Nazi Spy is an expose of a genuine Nazi espionage ring operating in the United States. Dedicated National Socialist Paul Lukas arrives in America to conduct Bund rallies and enlist German-Americans in the service of Hitler. His rabble-rousing speeches inspire a blue collar worker (Francis Lederer) to join a Bund, and then participate in spy activities. FBI agent Edward G. Robinson is assigned to investigate. Extracting a confession from the not-too-bright Lederer, Robinson traces the espionage activities to Lukas. The Nazi official's notoriety and his undesirability as a security risk compels the German secret police to kidnap Lukas and spirit him back to the Fatherland, presumably to face liquidation. The spy ring is rounded up, but Robinson realizes that this is only the beginning. Confessions of a Nazi Spy may seem dated today, but in 1939 it packed a real wallop, especially since most filmmakers of that era chose to ignore the Nazis lest they lose the valuable European market.

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Keywords

espionage, FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), Nazi, ring [group of people], spy