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Confidential Agent [DVD] [1945] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Charles Boyer , Lauren Bacall , Herman Shumlin    DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £9.23
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Confidential Agent [DVD] [1945] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Ministry Of Fear [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Charles Boyer, Lauren Bacall, Victor Francen, Wanda Hendrix, George Coulouris
  • Directors: Herman Shumlin
  • Writers: Robert Buckner, Graham Greene
  • Producers: Jack L. Warner, Robert Buckner
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: NR (Not Rated) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Archives
  • DVD Release Date: 15 April 2011
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004RADJY8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,679 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lauren Bacall - Oh Dear! 21 Nov 2011
Format:DVD
This film is just OK. Charles Boyer gives his usual strong performance but he is battling to keep things going with Lauren Bacall as his leading lady. She is woeful as the daughter of an English Lord. With that accent!! There isn`t even a line of dialogue to explain it. The supporting cast is particularly strong which makes Bacall`s lack of skill even more noticeable. She has been honest enough to say that she didn`t do well but was rushed into the film following her earlier success co-starring with Humphrey Bogart.

The story is a bit messy and the film itelf is mainly photographed with very low light. This means a fair bit of peering for the audience as it tries to work out what is happening. It isn`t a terrible film but it isn`t very good either. It is the only film of Charles Boyer`s that I haven`t enjoyed.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By J. Lovins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Warner Bros. Pictures presents "CONFIDENTIAL AGENT" (1945) (122 min/B&W) -- Starring Charles Boyer, Lauren Bacall, Victor Francen, Wanda Hendrix, George Coulouris, Katina Paxinou & Peter Lorre

Directed by Herman Shumlin

Charles Boyer stars as Luis Denard, a former concert musician operating as anti-Fascist secret agent in the Spanish Civil War. While negotiating with the neutral British for some much needed fuel supplies, Denard falls in love with gorgeous Rose Cullen (Lauren Bacall). Sympathetic to his cause, Rose helps Denard contend with the conniving backstabbing villains Contreras (Peter Lorre) and Mrs. Melandy (Katina Paxinou).

Critics in 1945 liked Confidential Agent but trounced leading lady Lauren Bacall, suggesting that she was merely a pretty amateur who'd coasted to stardom via her associations with actor Humphrey Bogart and director Howard Hawks.

Very melodic score by the great Franz Waxman

A Graham Greene novel was the source of the Warner Bros. espionage thriller.

BIOS:
1. Herman Shumlin (Director)
Date of Birth: 8 Decembe 1898 - Atwood, Colorado
Date of Death: 4 June 1979 - New York City, New York

2. Charles Boyer
Date of Birth: 28 August 1899 - Figeac, Lot, Midi-Pyrénées, France
Date of Death: 26 August 1978 - Phoenix, Arizona

3. Lauren Bacall [aka: Betty Joan Perske]
Date of Birth: 16 September 1924 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: Still Living

4. Victor Francen
Date of Birth: 5 August 1888 - Tirlemont, Belgium
Date of Death: 18 November 1977 - Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

5.
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Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 12 July 2012
By Dr. James Gardner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"Confidential Agent" is a 1945 black and white spy thriller based on the 1939 Graham Greene novel of the same day. In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, a former concert musician with Republican (i.e., anti-Fascist) sympathies journeys to London to buy Coal in order to keep it out of the hands of the Fascists, but at every turn he faces enemies, betrayal, arrest, and murder.

Charles Boyer plays the musician and Lauren Bacall is the daughter of a Coal producer who befriends Boyer. Peter Lorre and Katrina Paxinou play Republican contacts who may be more interested in their own welfare than the revolution, and along for the ride are Victor Francen, Wanda Hendrix, John Warburton, and George Zucco.

Charles Boyer (1899-1978) was everyone's favorite Frenchman. He was nominated for an Oscar 4 times, beginning in 1937 ("Conquest") and ending in 1961 ("Fanny"). His most famous film is "Gaslight" (1944) although I think he did his best work in "Algiers" (1938).

Lauren Bacall (1924) made her sizzling film debut in "To Have and Have Not" (1944) and went on to co-star with Bogart in "The Big Sleep" (1946) and "Dark Passage" (1947). She was nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA for "The Mirror has Two Faces" (1996) and won the Golden Globe and SAG for that film. She had 3 Emmy nominations. I think she did her best acting in "The Shootist" (1976) for which she received a BAFTA nomination.

Peter Lorre (1904-64) Lorre gained prominence as the child molester in Fritz Lang's "M" (1931) and went on to fame as "Mr. Moto" in a series of 8 detective films between 1937 and 1939, although today he is probably best known for his 9 films with Sydney Greenstreet, including "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) and "Casablanca" (1942).

Katrina Paxinou (1900-1973) won the Oscar and the Golden Globe for her role in "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943), her film debut. She made only a dozen films, including "Mourning Becomes Electra" (1947) and Welles' "Mr. Arkadin" (1955).

Pretty Wanda Hendix (1928-81) makes her film debut as a young girl who works in Paxinou's hotel.

The film is photographed in moody black and white by the legendary James Wong Howe, one of Hollywood's best cameramen. Howe was nominated for an Oscar 10 times with 2 wins ("Hud" and "The Rose Tatoo"), making him one of the most acknowledged cinematographers in film history.

1945 was not a banner year for films. The top grossing films were "Mom and Dad", "The Bells of St. Mary's", "Leave Her to Heaven", "Spellbound", and "Anchors Aweigh." The big Oscar and Golden Globe winner was "The Lost Weekend" (Picture, Director, Actor). Notable films released that year included: Joan Crawford's Oscar winning "Mildred Pierce" and film noir classic "Scarlett Street".

War films were reasonably popular - John Wayne in "Back to Bataan" and "They Were Expendable", Errol Flynn in "Objective Burma", John Garfield in "Pride of the Marines", Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum in "The Story of GI Joe", and "A Walk in the Sun".

The film was not well received. Part of the problem is the lack of chemistry between Boyer and Bacall. Another problem is the casting, which has Brooklyn born Bacall playing the daughter of an English Lord, Spanish citizens being played by a Frenchman (Boyer), a Hungarian (Lorre), a Greek (Paxinou), and the English played by a Dutchman (Francen) and a Yank (Hendrix). Another problem is a rambling script with characters that act irrationally and circumstances that are far beyond chance.

If you're interested in films about the Spanish Civil War, I recommend "The Spanish Earth" (1937), "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1943), "There be Dragons" (2011), or "The Disappearance on Garcia Lorca" (1997). One could also watch "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006).

Bottom line - The photography is wonderful, but the script is poor and the acting leaves a lot to be desired.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Confidential Agent (1945) ... Boyer & Bacall ... Herman Shumlin (Director) (2011)" 12 Sep 2011
By J. Lovins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Warner Bros. Pictures presents "CONFIDENTIAL AGENT" (1945) (122 min/B&W) -- Starring Charles Boyer, Lauren Bacall, Victor Francen, Wanda Hendrix, George Coulouris, Katina Paxinou & Peter Lorre

Directed by Herman Shumlin

Charles Boyer stars as Luis Denard, a former concert musician operating as anti-Fascist secret agent in the Spanish Civil War. While negotiating with the neutral British for some much needed fuel supplies, Denard falls in love with gorgeous Rose Cullen (Lauren Bacall). Sympathetic to his cause, Rose helps Denard contend with the conniving backstabbing villains Contreras (Peter Lorre) and Mrs. Melandy (Katina Paxinou).

Critics in 1945 liked Confidential Agent but trounced leading lady Lauren Bacall, suggesting that she was merely a pretty amateur who'd coasted to stardom via her associations with actor Humphrey Bogart and director Howard Hawks.

Very melodic score by the great Franz Waxman

A Graham Greene novel was the source of the Warner Bros. espionage thriller.

BIOS:
1. Herman Shumlin (Director)
Date of Birth: 8 Decembe 1898 - Atwood, Colorado
Date of Death: 4 June 1979 - New York City, New York

2. Charles Boyer
Date of Birth: 28 August 1899 - Figeac, Lot, Midi-Pyrénées, France
Date of Death: 26 August 1978 - Phoenix, Arizona

3. Lauren Bacall [aka: Betty Joan Perske]
Date of Birth: 16 September 1924 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: Still Living

4. Victor Francen
Date of Birth: 5 August 1888 - Tirlemont, Belgium
Date of Death: 18 November 1977 - Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France

5. Peter Lorre [aka: László Löwenstein]
Date of Birth: 26 June 1904 - Rózsahegy, Hungary, Austria-Hungary [now Ruzomberok, Slovak Republic]
Date of Death: 23 March 1964 - Los Angeles, California

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 4 Stars
Performance: 4 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 4 Stars
Overall: 4 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 122 min on DVD ~ Warner Bros. Pictures ~ (April 20, 2011)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Early Bacall without Bogie 27 Jan 2012
By E. Coughlin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie was fun for me to watch as I'm a big Bacall fan and I'd never seen it. I give it 4 stars to applaud Warner Brothers for continuing to release classic movies on DVD. The movie itself is OK, not great. Bacall is good, but was miscast as an alcoholic socialite. Boyer is unconvincing as a Spaniard as he is about as French as it gets. The goofiest part about this movie is Boyer's character asking poor English coal miners to turn down a job to support the Spanish loyalist cause. Not something an English working man in the early 1940's would care about and it comes off poorly.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected. 27 Feb 2014
By Donald Roland - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I will admit that I got this film not for the stars but for the smaller role played by the British actor John Warburton, who plays Bacall's fiancé in the film. Not that I am dissing Charles Boyer, who I like, or Lauren Bacall, who I think is the greatest not physically beautiful actress ever. Warburton doesn't show up until about 70 minutes into the film, but there are a few things that he does do in the film to speed it along, which is a relief in this film as it was considered over long even by the studio's standards. I'd also like the reference the Greek actress Katina Paxinou as the villainous mother/landlord, so much is poured into this character that you can't help but love that last scene with Boyer! Bacall is remarkably natural in only her second film role, no camera shyness here, she was already a trooper. Her role as a wealthy female drunkard, (generally seen as the MALE role) is excellently captured. It has everything done in that coy Warner Brother's way, not quite the lux of MGM but tasteful.
2.0 out of 5 stars A waste of Boyer's talent to pair him with the very ... 17 July 2014
By PegP - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A waste of Boyer's talent to pair him with the very young, very untalented Bacall. Although Bacall improved with age, this has to be her most miscast film. Boyer's performance as always excellent and I will watch it again only because of him.
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