Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939) - Rotten Tomatoes

Confessions of a Nazi Spy1939

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Confessions of a Nazi Spy Photos

Movie Info

Bold for its time (just prior to World War II), Confessions of a Nazi Spy is an expose of a genuine Nazi espionage ring operating in the United States. Dedicated National Socialist Paul Lukas arrives in America to conduct Bund rallies and enlist German-Americans in the service of Hitler. His rabble-rousing speeches inspire a blue collar worker (Francis Lederer) to join a Bund, and then participate in spy activities. FBI agent Edward G. Robinson is assigned to investigate. Extracting a confession from the not-too-bright Lederer, Robinson traces the espionage activities to Lukas. The Nazi official's notoriety and his undesirability as a security risk compels the German secret police to kidnap Lukas and spirit him back to the Fatherland, presumably to face liquidation. The spy ring is rounded up, but Robinson realizes that this is only the beginning. Confessions of a Nazi Spy may seem dated today, but in 1939 it packed a real wallop, especially since most filmmakers of that era chose to ignore the Nazis lest they lose the valuable European market.

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Edward G. Robinson
as Edward "Ed" Renard
Francis Lederer
as Kurt Schneider
George Sanders
as Franz Schlager
Paul Lukas
as Dr. Karl F. Kassel
Henry O'Neill
as D.A. Kellogg
Lya Lys
as Erika Wolff
Grace Stafford
as Mrs. Schneider
James Stephenson
as Scotland Yard Official
Sig Rumann
as Krogman
Dorothy Tree
as Hilda Kleinhauer
Celia Sibelius
as Mrs. Kassel
Henry Victor
as Helldorf
Fredrik Vogeding
as Capt. Richter
John Voight
as Wesphal
Willy Kaufman
as Gruetzwald
William Von Brincken
as Capt. Vonn Eichen
Jack Mower
as McDonald
Eily Malyon
as Mrs. MacLaughlin
Frank Mayo
as Staunton
Alec Craig
as Postman
Selmar Jackson
as Customs Agent
Jean Brooks
as Kassel's Nurse
Frederick Burton
as US District Court Judge
Ward Bond
as American Legionnaire
Charles Trowbridge
as US Intelligence Official
John Ridgely
as Army Hospital Clerk
Emmett Vogan
as Hotel Clerk
Edward Keane
as FBI Agent
Martin Kosleck
as Josef Goebbels
Selmer Jackson
as Customs Agent
William Vaughan
as Captain Von Eichen
Egon Brecher
as Nazi Spy
John Deering
as Narrator
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Critic Reviews for Confessions of a Nazi Spy

All Critics (4)

Confessions of a Nazi Spy is a film that shows a studio with a conscience and one that uses their platform for the greater good.

March 31, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

As motion picture entertainment removed from the sphere of political objections, this courageous Warner Bros. film will stand high when the outstanding pictures of 1939 are heralded. Confessions is pretty nearly tops in screen melodrama.

October 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Historically significant, Litvak's sensationalistic political melodrama is considered to be the first Hollywood anti-Nazi film made by a major studio

June 12, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Daring for its day.

July 28, 2008 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Confessions of a Nazi Spy


Well made but blatant propaganda. The two biggest stars in the cast, Edward G. Robinson and George Sanders have relatively small roles.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Despite coming out two and a half years before America's involvement in WWII, Confessions of a Nazi Spy is a wonderful piece of propaganda. This movie is also a single-finger salute to Germany on the part of Warner Bros as the only studio who would speak out against the Nazis despite a lucrative film market overseas. The movie sets up a sprawling network of Nazi spies and the dread it would've potentially brought upon the U.S. Once Edward G. Robinson, Nazi Hunter is on the case about 45 minutes into the movie, he starts cleverly kicking ass and taking names. It starts playing out like Law and Order's grandfather at points but by the time the final scene and the credits roll you're ready to kick some Nazi ass.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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