Spies / Spione (1928)
“Nothing is to deter a man from the path of duty — not even a woman.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary notes that while the “film is a mite confusing and overplotted” (I agree), it “would have made the perfect serial” given “its diabolical supervillain, his assorted crimes, the pulp-fiction plotline (with sex and action), and the numerous episodes that end with cliffhangers.”
Peary lists this movie at 98 minutes in his GFTFF, but we’re now able to see a much lengthier version. According to TCM’s article, “Like Metropolis, surviving prints of Spies were severely edited and the original cut was unavailable for decades until, in 2004, the Murnau Institute restored the film with over 50 minutes of missing footage,” and “Lang’s cinematic spy fantasy is [now] available in its full glory once again.” While it’s not quite must-see silent viewing like Lang’s Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), Siegfried’s Tod (1924), Kriemhild’s Revenge (1924), or Metropolis, film fanatics will likely be curious to check this one out once.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
One thought on “Spies / Spione (1928)”
First viewing (1/15/20). Not must-see.
A surprisingly uninvolving – though still typically complicated – Lang film which gives the director almost no opportunity to shine (even though his visual style remains intact). Things get a little unintentionally funny in the penultimate trainwreck sequence.