Amiable espionage thriller set in Sweden during the First World War and starring Vivien Leigh and Conrad Veidt. Produced by Alexander Korda’s London Films, the romantic spy story is sharply-directed by Victor Saville and boasts splendid cinematography from Georges Périnal and Harry Stradling. The film, based on a play by Lajos Biró, was reissued in 1943 as The Anxious Years.
Spring 1918. Madeleine Goddard (Vivien Leigh) runs an elite fashion boutique in neutral Stockholm – a job that often takes her to Paris. She is also a high-ranking Allied double-agent that carries secrets sewn into the stitching of the latest Parisian fashions. Complications ensue when she becomes emotionally involved with the charming aristocratic German spy Baron von Marwitz (Conrad Veidt), head of Section 8 counter-intelligence. When her spy cell appears to have been compromised, Madeleine pleads to be relieved of her duties. She is handed one final mission – to learn the identity of a German spy in Sweden. Unsurprisingly, Marwitz is the man. —Britmovie.co.uk
Victor Saville (25 September 1895 – 8 May 1979) was an English film director, producer and screenwriter. He directed 39 films between 1927 and 1954. He also produced 36 films between 1923 and 1962.
He produced his first film, Woman to Woman, with Michael Balcon in 1923, and on the back of its success produced pictures for the veteran director Maurice Elvey, including the classic British silent Hindle Wakes (1927). His first picture as director was The Arcadians in 1927. In 1929 he and Michael Balcon worked together again on a talkie remake of Woman to Woman for Balcon’s company, Gainsborough Pictures, this time directed by Saville himself.
From 1931, as Gainsborough Pictures and the Gaumont British Picture Corporation joined forces, Victor Saville produced a string of comedies, musicals and dramas for Gainsborough and Gaumont-British, including the popular Jessie Matthews pictures. In 1937 he left to set up his own production company, Victor Saville Productions, and made… read more