Spy in Black, The; U-Boat 29

46. THE SPY IN BLACK (U-Boat 29) (1939-Engiand). With conrad veidt, Valerie HOBSON, MARIUS GORING, JUNE DUPREZ. Directed by MICHAEL POWELL. Screenplay by EMERIC PRESSBURGER and ROLAND PERTWEE. Art direction by VINCENT KORDA. Music by MIKLOS ROZSA. Here’s a tightly knit, brilliantly directed thriller, made by one of Britain’s all-time great filmmakers. Conrad Veidt (the famed German film star who had gone into exile in England when Hitler came to power) offers a vivid performance as Captain Hardt, a German submarine officer who smuggles himself into England during World War I to learn the sailing date of the British fleet. He’s supposed to make contact in the Orkney Islands with a German spy, who’s been posing as a schoolmistress. The British Secret Service has learned of Hardt’s mission, and a naval officer’s wife has taken the place of the spy. Will Captain Hardt realize that the tables have been turned against him? If and when he does, what will he do? When the film, re-titled “U-Boat 29,” premiered in America, the New York Times called it “the most exciting spy melodrama since the advent of the Second World War.” According to the British magazine Time Out, “Darkness, foreboding and regret, rather than any sense of propaganda, dominate this extraordinarily atmospheric World War I spy story made on the eve of World War II. It signals the end of a peacetime era…Intrigue, uncertainty and confused loyalties build to a bitter, ironic climax, and along the way Powell effortlessly produces more memorable shots and scenes than can be found in a dozen contemporary films.” this film is also of note as the initial collaboration between Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who went on to co-direct and write some of the best films ever to come out of England. 77 minutes. Drama-War