The Counterfeit Traitor

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The Counterfeit Traitor
Counterfeit traitor.jpg
Cover of the DVD
Directed by George Seaton
Produced by George Seaton
William Perlberg
Written by Charles Grenzbach
George Seaton
Based on The Counterfeit Traitor
by Alexander Klein
Starring William Holden
Lilli Palmer
Hugh Griffith
Carl Raddatz
Music by Alfred Newman
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • April 17, 1962 (1962-04-17)
Running time
140 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Counterfeit Traitor is a 1962 war film starring William Holden, Hugh Griffith, and Lilli Palmer. Holden plays an American-born Swedish citizen who agrees to spy on the Nazis in World War II. It was based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Alexander Klein. The film was directed by George Seaton.[1]


Erickson (Holden) is an American-born Swedish oil man who is pressured by Allied intelligence agents, led by a British agent (Griffith), to spy for the Allies. Erickson begins his job reluctantly, as it causes marital discord and forces him to pose as a Nazi. He agrees because otherwise his business would be destroyed by the Allies, but over time, realizes it is the right thing to do.

He is influenced in making this moral decision by one of his contacts in Germany, a religious woman (Lilli Palmer) who gives him guidance on the meaning of life and right and wrong. Erickson has a number of close calls, but eventually escapes to Sweden in a harrowing sea voyage.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Alexander Klein, 83; Wrote Spy Thriller (obituary)". New York Times. August 24, 2002. Retrieved 2007-11-16.

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