This week’s mystery movie was the 1952 Twentieth Century-Fox picture “5 Fingers” (often rendered “Five Fingers”) with James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie, Walter Hampden, Oscar Karlweis, Herbert Berghof, John Wengraf, A. Ben Astar and Roger Plowden. Screenplay by Michael Wilson, from the book by L.C. Moyzisch, music by Bernard Herrmann, photography by Norbert Brodine, art direction by Lyle Wheeler and George W. Davis, set decoration by Thomas Little and Walter M. Scott, editing by James B. Clark, wardrobe by Charles Le Maire, makeup by Ben Nye, photographic effects by Ray Kellogg, sound by W.D. Flick and Roger Heman. Produced by Otto Lang. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
“5 Fingers” is available on DVD from TCM.
Writing in the New York Times (Feb. 23, 1952) Bosley Crowther said:
Those who may fear that the old days of silken spy films are as dead as the gone days of diamond tiaras and princely diplomacy can now settle back in the comfort and the tingling satisfaction to be had from Twentieth Century-Fox’s “Five Fingers,” which arrived at the Roxy yesterday. For here, in this literate entertainment Joseph L. Mankiewicz has made with a cast that might well have been recruited at an embassy function in pre-war Berlin, is as dandy an espionage thriller as ever went through the polished hands of a Grahame Greene or an Alfred Hitchcock — or for that matter, an E.P. Oppenheim.
And what’s more, added to the relish of this spicy adventure that is played in a particularly suave and crafty manner by James Mason in the central spy role is the fact that the story of it is almost a literal account of a fantastic piece of spy work that was accomplished in Ankara, Turkey, in 1944. The story has since been recounted by a former attache of the German Embassy there in a book called “Operation Cicero.” It is this book by L.C. Moyzisch upon which the film is based.
…. Mr. Mason and Miss Darrieux are magnificently poised and efficient. He embraces entirely the manners and air of a devilishly clever European who is an unmitigated rascal at heart, and she is as stirring but elusive as an indescribably elegant perfume.
For Monday, we have a mystery woman.
Update: This is Jeroma Moshan.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent. He is skeptical about such goings-on.
Update: This is Oskar Karlweis.
For Wednesday, Tuesday’s mystery gent has a mystery companion – who does NOT approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Oskar Karlweis and Herbert Berghof. (And a better picture of Berghof).
And also this polished mystery gent.
Update: This is Walter Hampden.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests).
For Thursday, we have a not terribly mysterious gent. The leading man has been cropped out due to his insufficient mysteriousness. He will appear Friday, as will our leading lady.
Update: This is Michael Rennie. Here’s a better picture him, after “Day the Earth Stood Still.”
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, all mystery guests), Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guests), Sheila (Wednesday’s mystery guest No. 3) and Jenny M. (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery gent and Wednesday’s mystery gent No. 3).
For Friday, we have our non-mysterious leading lady….
Update: This is Danielle Darrieux.
… and our even less mysterious leading man.
Update: This is James Mason.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery gent), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and all mystery guests), David Inman (Thursday’s mystery guest), Gary (Thursday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery gent), Don Danard (Thursday’s mystery space visitor), Sue Slutzky (Thursday’s mystery gent), Charles Kjelland (Thursday’s mystery gent) and L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast).