May 2, 2015

New Spy DVDs: Double Crossed: 10 Classic Spy Thrillers

Mill Creek is famous for their budget collections of ten, twenty-five, fifty, even 100 classic (read: public domain) movies in a single set. They're usually grouped by genre, like 50 War Classics or 50 Great Mysteries or something along those lines, and I've long wished they'd do a set of spy movies. Because obviously there are plenty of great spy movies in the public domain! What's more, Mill Creek now distributes a lot of titles from the MGM catalog, so that opens up their options. And, sure enough, they've finally gotten around to the espionage genre. Granted, on the lower end of the quantity spectrum, and focusing solely on WWII espionage movies. But still, their set Double Crossed - 10 Classic Spy Thrillers seems like a pretty great bargain for just over $10! (And under from some retailers.) While the odds are good many spy fans will already own a few of these (the Sherlock Holmes and Mr. Moto movies, for example, have long been available in boxed sets of their respective heroes), the set is probably still worth its low cost for the others. Included are "classics" (both legitimate and otherwise) starring the likes of James Cagney, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, Basil Rathbone, and Peter O'Toole. Below is a list of he movies spread across these three discs, including the distributor's descriptions.

Mr. Moto's Last Warning
Mr. Moto investigates a plot involving the French and British governments that could start a war over the Suez Canal. In a race against time and assassins on his tail, he must expose the agents before it's too late.
Starring Peter Lorre, John Carradine
(1939) Black and White 71 Min NR

British Intelligence
During the beginning of World War II, a German woman comes to stay in the home of a high-ranking British official. The family does not know their visitor is really a German spy who is meeting up with another agent already in the house trying to steal documents.
Starring Boris Karloff, Margaret Lindsay
(1940) Black and White 61 Min NR (Violence)

The Black Dragons
A famous plastic surgeon is hired by Japan's Black Dragon Society to transform six operatives into exact duplicates of six power American executives to sabotage the U.S. war effort. Will agents from the F.B.I. be able to unravel the plot?
Starring Bela Lugosi, Clayton Moore
(1942) Black and White 62 Min NR

Submarine Alert
In a devious plot, the FBI unexpectedly fires a loyal radio engineer who is recruited by the Nazis. But is he actually bait to trap their spy ring of saboteurs?
Starring Richard Arlen, Wendy Barrie
(1943) Black and White 67 Min NR (Violence)

Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon
Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce) are searching for a kidnapped scientist whose invention may decide the fate of World War II. Both the Allies and the Nazis are in a desperate race to possess it for their own benefit.
Starring Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce
(1943) Black and White 68 Min NR

The Adventures of Tartu
A British soldier is recruited for an undercover assignment inside Nazi-controlled Czechoslovakia. His must infiltrate a chemical factory and work with the local underground resistance to sabotage the operation.
Starring Robert Donat, Valerie Hobson
(1943) Black and White 104 Min NR (Violence)

Blood on the Sun
This Oscar-winning film begins prior to the outbreak of World War II. Nick Condon (James Cagney), the American editor of a Tokyo newspaper, discovers plans for Japan's military conquest of the world. He vows to secure the document and get it into the hands of the American military at any cost.
Starring James Cagney, Sylvia Sidney
(1945) Black and White 94 Min NR (Violence)

The Green Glove
Glenn Ford stars as an American GI who travels back to France after the end of World War II, to try and recover a jewel-encrusted glove, which had been pillaged from a country church during hostilities.
Starring Glenn Ford, Geraldine Brooks
(1952) Black and White 89 Min NR

The Limping Man
An American WW II veteran returns to England to visit an old flame he met during the war. When he arrives at the airport, a fellow passenger, with ties to the woman, is gunned down.
Starring Lloyd Bridges, Moira Lister
(1953) Black and White 76 Min NR

Rogue Male
An English aristocrat attempts to assassinate Adolph Hitler but is captured by the Nazis and horribly tortured. After enduring the suffering, he escapes and returns to England, but he is trailed by Nazi agents bent upon preventing him from revealing Hitler s true plans.
Starring Peter O'Toole, Alastair Sim
(1976) Color 103 Min NR

The latter, the most recent movie in the collection by a good twenty years (though still in keeping with the WWII theme), is a remake of Fritz Lang's Man Hunt (review here), based on the novel by Geoffrey Household.


dfordoom said...

The Green Glove is fun. British Intelligence and The Limping Man are pretty good as well.

Johny Malone said...

Interesting. I did not know that The Green Glove and The Limping Man were spy movies.