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Weimar Germany
8.0
/10
401 Ratings

Spies

Spione

Directed by Fritz Lang
Germany, 1928
Thriller, Silent
  • German
  • English
Weimar Germany

Synopsis

An international espionage ring led by a wheelchair-bound megalomaniac uses technology, threats, and murder to steal government secrets. A secret agent sets out to stop them, but in the process, he falls in love with a brash young spy.

Our take

Talk about an opening sequence! A fan favorite and the most underrated of Fritz Lang’s Weimar “superfilms,” Spies is a caper for the ages. Predating the adventures of Bond and Tintin, Lang invents the modern spy film: crackling with twists, disguises, gadgetry, narrow escapes, and forbidden love.

Spies Directed by Fritz Lang Watch now
A 2004 Murnau Stiftung restoration of the complete version was a revelation, not only for its more complete narrative but for its superb visual quality. It’s a feast of shots that only Lang could have composed.
December 28, 2018
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The malevolent artist’s line between puppet-master and clown is drawn in the brilliantly excoriating finale, skewering the sensation-hungry Weimar zeitgeist in an acrid coup de théâtre that leaves only a pierced cranium and thunderous applause.
March 28, 2016
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Spione is easily the most erotic of Lang’s German films, and perhaps the only one (discounting a few mad moments in Metropolis) that borders on the pornographic.
January 01, 2005
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What are people saying?

  • Hikaru's rating of the film Spies

    The devil is in the detail, and Lang's attention to detail is awe-inspiring. I was particularly stunned by how the film's multi-layered narrative was woven with such suspense, drama and fluidity. This film is essential not only because its various themes continue to stay relevant to this day, but because Lang was able to create an entire world that is so dark and yet so familiar. The ending is insane.

  • Gran-Hoff's rating of the film Spies

    "I have the film negatives", says the bad guy to try and blackmail one of his spies. Twist after twist, we are lead to suspect everyone. There's an almighty, all-seeing individual who controls all his spies (or should I say actors?) from a distance; this guy will have, by all means, have the final laugh.

  • Zachary George Najarian-Najafi's rating of the film Spies

    A kinetic spy thriller, Fritz Lang's Spies takes us deep into an underworld of smoke-filled rooms, wheelchair bound villains, exotic orientalism and beautiful women. It's the grandaddy of all James Bond movies right down to the tongue in cheek. It's one of Lang's most visually brilliant films making strong use of geometrical yet gloriously expressionistic visuals. See it and love it.

  • Matt Kovar's rating of the film Spies

    This is the film that really turned me on to silent films. It captivated from the very start and through to its crazy end.

  • ASHES IN THE HOURGLASS's rating of the film Spies

    I DESPERATELY want to give this a higher score as it possesses some of best moments of any Lang film including a bold and striking opening and a great villain. But therein lies the issue. Just as a hero is only as good as his nemesis, the opposite is also true. Never in my life have I seen such a boring main character attached to such an obviously great film. He is surrounded by greatness, but he is a complete void.

  • msmichel's rating of the film Spies

    2004 restoration. Essential silent cinema. While not quite up to the standard set by Lang's previous couple of films Spies is an exciting and adventure filled romp which keeps the viewer both entertained and on the edge of their seat throughout. Lang's visual language even on a more moderate budget here is stupendous. An early fore runner for a genre to come.

  • João Eça's rating of the film Spies

    Masks, lies, disguises, spies, murder, blackmail, greed, manipulation, violence, money, corruption, circles, alcohol, depression, luck and bad luck, tunnels, walls, trains, secrets, sewers, illusions, shadows, evil, theatre, images, cinema. Haghi, the villain, as an anouncement of fascism and moral decay; as the absolute illusion, hidden within ourselves. "Let the curtain fall!" Is death the only way out?

  • Christopher R. Smith's rating of the film Spies

    Not quite on the level of Fritz Lang's other masterpieces, but an innovative and genre-defining work from a master filmmaker in his prime. Over the top at times, and cleverly subtle at others, it's a sharply crafted and action-packed, even if Thea Van Harbou's convoluted story can get tricky. A classic.

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