Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Herman Shumlin|
|Produced by||Robert Buckner|
|Screenplay by||Robert Buckner|
|Based on||the novel
by Graham Greene
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Cinematography||James Wong Howe|
|Editing by||George Amy|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||118 minutes|
Confidential Agent is a 1945 spy film starring Charles Boyer and Lauren Bacall, and made by Warner Bros. The movie was directed by Herman Shumlin and produced by Robert Buckner with Jack L. Warner as executive producer. The screenplay was by Robert Buckner, based on the novel The Confidential Agent by Graham Greene. The music score was by Franz Waxman and the cinematography by James Wong Howe. The supporting cast includes George Coulouris and Peter Lorre.
Luis Denard, a former concert musician, Charles Boyer, is a Republican, in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. He travels to England to secure supplies, where he is threatened by suspicion and Fascist agents. He finds unexpected help when he meets young socialite Rose Cullen, Lauren Bacall, whose Father, Lord Benditch, Holmes Herbert, is one of the men Denard is trying to meet.
Everything seems to go wrong, when he’s mugged, and laid out cold. Not knowing who to trust, he enlists the aid of the young maid Else, Wanda Hendrix. Then, he runs into Contreras, Peter Lorre, and Mrs. Melandy, Katina Paxinou. It’s a convoluted race to the end.
- Charles Boyer as Luis Denard
- Lauren Bacall as Rose Cullen
- Victor Francen as Licata
- Wanda Hendrix as Else
- George Coulouris as Captain Currie
- Peter Lorre as Contreras
- Katina Paxinou as Mrs. Melandez
- John Warburton as Neil Forbes
- Holmes Herbert as Lord Benditch
- Dan Seymour as Mr. Muckerji
- Art Foster as Chauffeur
- Miles Mander as Mr. Brigstock
- Lawrence Grant as Lord Fetting
- Ian Wolfe as Dr. Bellows
- George Zucco as Detective Geddes
According to "The Big Sleep Comparisons 1945/46", a featurette on the 2000 DVD release of Bacall's later film The Big Sleep, her reviews for Confidential Agent were largely negative, with particular aspersions cast on Bacall's performance, as a "pretty amateur".
According to film historian Robert Gitt, host of the featurette, Warner studio head Jack L. Warner was lobbied to order certain scenes in The Big Sleep re-shot in order to rectify performance issues with Bacall identified in Confidential Agent, which he did.
In her own autobiography, Bacall said that she begged not to have to do the film, but couldn't break her contract that early, though her career never fully recovered from Confidential Agent.