The Spy in Black

Synopsis: When a German U-Boat captain is sent on a spying mission to the North of Scotland during World War One, he finds more than he bargained for in his contact, the local schoolmistress.
Genre: Thriller, War
Director(s): Michael Powell
Production: Criterion Collection
  1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
77 min


- Is it true?

- Look yourself, sir.

"Following the success of our U-boats it has been decided ..."

So now we know, sir.


- ... I want a room

- A room for my wife and myself.

Sorry, we are full.

- But we just got married.

- He has to join the ship tomorrow!

29, but I might turn you out.

Register first!

Captain Hardt?

You'll need a diving suit. He is still at sea.

- The U29 moored an hour ago, sir.

- Who would be a U-boat captain?

- A letter arrives, send it to my room.

- Very good.

- Capt Rigg wants another manicure, room 46.

- I know...


Captain Hardt is to report to headquarters immediately.

- He hasn't arrived yet.

- What's his room number?

- 54

- Have you seen him?

Not for 16 days.

- You know him by sight?

- No.

Well, try the Turkish baths at Koernische.

Koernische Strasse ...

- Hullo; kept my room?

- 54, Captain Hardt.

- Cigarettes?

- Sorry, Capt. We're sold out.

- Again?

- Got yet tobacco.

And a beautiful pipe. Only six marks.

Nothing doing it. I never smoke a pipe.

- C'mon, lets bath and shape the body.

- Did you sink any food ships?

- Four.

- Makes me hungry just to think of it.

16 days without a smoke.

- This is absolutely ...

- Perfect!

Food first. A cigar is best after dinner.

You're always right, sir.

Back again, Captain. Congratulations.

- A table for two?

- And a meal for ten.

I put in the out booth. They've just gone.

- Felix, darling!

- After dinner, Schatzchen.

Listen Hans:
We've been 16 days in a submarine.

It makes 48 tins of sardines, 768 beastly little fishes.

- I could eat a horse.

- He probably did.

Sorry, it's a meatless day.

We'll have roast goose with foie gras,

- Apple pie, plum pudding.

- Big as a depth charge.

Gentlemen... please!

- Here is the menu.

- Thank you.

- Is it a joke?

- Boiled fish!

- Carrots, beets, potatoes.

- No potatoes, sir!

- Bring a pail of bread and butter.

- No butter. Margarine tomorrow perhaps.

We sank the finest food in the world

Then turn to port and you give us ...

- Boiled fish and carrots!

- I agree...

Fifth floor.

Captain Hardt? Message from

headquarters. Report immediately.

- Carry on as she goes, quartermaster.

- As she goes, sir.

What an idea, putting a

motorbike in a submarine!

15, sir.

- 11:

- Can at least open the kit pack?

15, sir.

15, gentlemen.

What it says about the motorbike, sir?

- What you got there?

- A chart of the mine defences.

And a photograph of the Old Man of Hoy;

it seems to be a rendez-vous.

3 25'. It's off my chart.

- It's in mine.

- Here.

Gentlemen, we are on a special mission.

Our orders are to proceed to

Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.

It's a big job and a dangerous one.

I know I can count on you.

That's all. Thank you.

Hartman, full speed ahead.

- 3-2-0.

- 3-2-0, sir.

- Schuster?

- Yes, sir.

"Your" motorbike, it'll take me to Longhope,

in the island of Hoy, base

of the British Grand Fleet.

"Once across the minefield,

spend the night at the Man of Hoy."

Lt. Schuster will take over

and wait for your return.

You will proceed to the Longhope School

where you will report to our agent...

Fraulein Thiel. "

A woman? How is she?

- Tall, dark, 21...

- My type, sir!

- Have a shave, sir.

- See what's in the kit pack.

- I still do not see why a motorcycle.

- Schuster ...

A man landed from a submarine

would not travel by motorbike.

- Ah, camouflage!

- Ah, camouflage.

A well-worn tweed, the thing for Scotland.

Too big for me; fits you all right.

This suit's mine! I bought it in Berlin.

"Temple & Conway, Saville Row, London"

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Emeric Pressburger

Emeric Pressburger (5 December 1902 – 5 February 1988) was a Hungarian British screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is best known for his series of film collaborations with Michael Powell, in an award-winning collaboration partnership known as the Archers and produced a series of films, notably 49th Parallel (1941), The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Matter of Life and Death (1946, also called Stairway to Heaven), Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948), and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"The Spy in Black" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 11 Aug. 2020. <>.

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