🎥 Five Fingers – 1952
The Story …
In neutral Turkey in 1944, German ambassador Franz von Papen meets Countess Anna Staviska, a Frenchwoman and the widow of a pro-German Polish count.
Now destitute, the countess volunteers to become a spy for a fee, but her offer is declined. Ulysses Diello approaches the German embassy attaché Moyzisch, offering to provide von Papen with top-secret British documents for a price of £20,000 …
The Germans do not know that Diello is the personal valet to British ambassador Sir Frederic Taylor as well as the former valet of the late count. The photographed documents taken from Sir Frederic’s safe prove to be genuine. Diello is given the code name Cicero and asked to continue his subterfuge.
He gives his money to Anna for safekeeping and pays her a portion of it, provided that he is allowed to use her new villa as a meeting place for his transactions. When the valet also tells Anna of his dream of living in South America with her, she slaps his face but agrees to his conditions.
Moyzisch is summoned to Berlin by SS general Kaltenbrunner, suspicious of Cicero’s true intent. Allied bombing of a Romanian oil refinery is executed, exactly as Cicero’s photographed documents had outlined. Colonel von Richter is sent to Ankara to take command of the negotiations with Cicero, while the British send counterintelligence man Colin Travers to identify the spy.
Anna’s newly found wealth and previous willingness to become a spy cause her to fall under suspicion by Travers, who also rigs the ambassador’s safe with a burglar alarm. Von Richter requests a document detailing an Allied operation called Overlord, the D-Day invasion plan, and Cicero demands £40,000 for it. Diello realizes that he could soon be killed by one side or captured by the other.
He flees to South America, only to discover that Anna has stolen all of his money and departed to Switzerland. She sends a letter to Sir Frederic that identifies his valet as the spy being paid by the Germans. Diello removes the fuse for the safe’s alarm, opens the safe, photographs the D-Day plans and intercepts the letter, but a cleaning woman replaces the fuse; when Diello returns the plans to the safe, he triggers the alarm and must flee.
Diello now knows for certain how Anna feels about him. Broke and on the run, Diello demands and receives a £100,000 payment from the Germans for the photographs of the D-Day plans. A second malicious letter from Anna to the Germans misinforms them that the valet is a British spy, causing them to disregard the D-Day information as unreliable.
Diello escapes alone to Rio, where he enjoys a new life of prosperity and freedom until Brazilian authorities arrest him because all of his money is counterfeit, created during Operation Bernhard. Realizing that Anna’s money in Switzerland is also counterfeit offers him some consolation.
- Directed by : Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- Screenplay by : Michael Wilson and Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- Based on : Der fall Cicero 1949 novel by Ludwig Carl Moyzisch
- Produced by : Otto Lang
- Cinematography : Norbert Brodine
- Edited by : James B. Clark
- Music by : Bernard Herrmann
- Colour Process : Black and White
- Production Company : 20th Century Fox
- James Mason as Ulysses Diello
- Danielle Darrieux as Countess Anna Staviska
- Michael Rennie as Colin Travers
- Walter Hampden as Sir Frederic Taylor
- Oskar Karlweis as L. C. Moyzisch
- Herbert Berghof as Colonel von Richter
- John Wengraf as Count Franz von Papen
- Ben Astar as Siebert (as A. Ben Astar)
- Roger Plowden as Keith McFadden
Film Information :
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