The world of espionage and intrigue is great fodder for the movies because of the inherent drama involved in movie spies sneaking around where you’re not supposed to be. Add things like guns, gadgets, helicopter chases, and girls, and you practically have the secret formula for a good movie. This message will self-destruct in, oh, half an hour or so. Take your time.
Mata Hari, “Mata Hari”
This is a movie about the real-life spy Mata Hari, who, according to legend, was a spy for Germany during World War I. Much of that “legend” was popularized by this movie, which was a smashing success in the 1930’s thanks to Greta Garbo, who brings an intimidating seductiveness to the role.
Alicia Huberman, “Notorious”
In this spy thriller, Huberman, played by Ingrid Bergman is recruited by a government agent (Cary Grant) to infiltrate the home of a Nazi, played by Claude Rains. Since this is Hitchcock, you inevitably end up feeling a little bit sorry for the bad guy, even though he’s a Nazi who wants to use Uranium to bomb the United States. He falls in love with Ingrid, of course, who puts her personal feelings aside to crack open the nest of Nazis. But still, poor Claude Rains.