Starring: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gerda Maurus, Willy Fritsch
Director: Fritz Lang
Plot: Haghi is a criminal mastermind whose ubiquitous spy operation is always several steps ahead of the police and the government’s secret service. Enter Agent 326, the daring and dashing young man, who thinks his disguise as a dirty, bearded vagrant is fooling the unknown mastermind and his minions. But Haghi is well aware of 326’s existence and what he looks like. Enter Sonya, a Russian lady in Haghi’s employ. Haghi wants Sonya to subvert the efforts of the government agent, but doesn’t count on her falling in love with him. Meanwhile, Haghi is anxious to get his hands on a Japanese peace treaty in the possession of the cunning Doctor Masimoto, whose mistress is also in his employ.
This film has everything that would later become spy film cliches: the ultra cool, ultra suave secret agent; the evil powerful genius, confined to a wheelchair, who dreams of world domination; his beautiful seductress, who falls for the secret agent. There are hidden microphones and disappearing ink and secret packages and bulletproof wallets. There’s a motorcycle/car chase, and an in-tunnel train wreck to round out the action. Ian Fleming may well have used this as inspiration for James Bond 007!