Re: RARA-AVIS: Somerset Maugham

Date: 01 Mar 2005


Re your comments below:

> The only thing I've read by Maugham is his OF HUMAN
> BONDAGE, a good book but off-topic for the list. I
> did see a movie recently called Secret Agent, which
> said it was based on one of his books. It had the
> typical lighting that's attributed to a noir flick,
> without really being too noirish.

That was one of Hitchcock's early sound flicks and one of the few spy movies he ever did where the hero was a professional agent rather than some poor innocent schlub inadvertently pulled into international intrigue.

It was adapted from a stage play which, in turn, combined elements from several of the short stories in Maugham's collection, ASHENDEN - THE BRITISH AGENT. These stories fictionalized Maugham's own experiences with British Intelligence during WW1.

To make it even more confusing, in addition to making THE SECRET AGENT, Hitchcock made a film called SABOTAGE, based on Joseph Conrad's THE SECRET AGENT. Several years later he made a film called SABOTEUR, which was, essentially, an uncredited remake of THE 39 STEPS, with the setting changed to the US, and the time frame from WW1 to WW2.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 01 Mar 2005 EST