A Hitch in the Get-Along: State Secret — 7 Comments

  1. Welcome, Michael! And thanks for contributing a bit of the back-story about your prolific grandfather. His face (if not his name) is familiar to any serious movie buff; his dozens of movies include some of the most durable classics of the Golden Age — The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, I Was a Male War Bride, The Black Rose, Ivanhoe, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Fiddler on the Roof.

    Thanks again for stopping by, and for leaving your comment. It was a pleasure hearing from you.

  2. Hello and greetings from London England…
    FYI (and amusement): the Vosnian Diplomat (Mr. Janovic Pravda) is played by Mr. Carl Heinz Jaffé – my late Grandfather; thanks so much for posting a pic of him in that scene which I have never seen as don't have the DVD etc although was aware of him in the casting. I have rare publicity stills of other Brit thriller B movies he was in to share if you are interested
    Warm regards from Michael Jaffé

  3. I remember seeing this film many years ago on TV, and it's always somehow remained with me–particularly that close-up of Fairbanks at the end, waiting for the final shot he believes is to polish him off. Fairbanks so often played urbane, humorous characters in comedies or adventure films; I found myself enjoying him playing a quite serious part of an endangered man for a change.

  4. Thanks, Dorian; I'm glad you found the post worth waiting for. Congrats on a terrific blogathon; I urge my readers again to check it out.

    CW, I was in exactly your position re State Secret when I rediscovered it at Cinevent in 2001: there was this movie I'd seen (part of) once on TV, but couldn't recall any details. The scene that made the connection and closed the circle was the climactic one of Fairbanks marching away, then hearing the gunfire on the radio. Aha!!

  5. Hooray! Jim, your STATE SECRET blog post was a corker, an inspired entry to our BEST HITCHCOCK MOVIES (THAT HITCHCOCK NEVER MADE) Blogathon that was well worth the wait! I may have to look for it on LOVING THE CLASSICS or the like, because it sounds like a thriller Hitchcock would appreciate — no wonder, considering its from Launder and Gilliat, the gents who brought us THE LADY VANISHES, among others!

    While I was reading your post, my husband Vinnie looked over my shoulder, spotted Jack Hawkins, and declared, "I'd know those eyebrows anywhere!" We also liked your line about Hawkins' Col. Balcon character having "more official portfolios than Poo-Bah in Gilbert & Sullivan's THE MIKADO" (one of Team B's faves; Vin turned me onto it). I also liked the line about Galcon being "the most charming and hospitable of captors" (reminds me of a similar scene in ARABESQUE, which I've mentioned at TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED).

    Great cast, with Hawkins, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, Glynis Johns, and Herbert Lom in shifty mode. In fact, I've often enjoyed Lom's shifty "Ugarte" types even more than his comedic turns as hapless Inspector Dreyfuss in the PINK PANTHER movies! Best of all, I love it that the filmmakers actually went to the trouble of creating a language for the people of Vosnia — or as they said in WHAT'S UP, TIGER LILY?, "a nonexistent but real-sounding country." 🙂 Kudos to you on a terrific Blogathon post, my friend, and thanks again for being part of our Blogathon!

  6. Oh my gosh, there really wash such a movie! "State Secret" is one of those saw-it-once-who-was-in-it-wasn't-it-Hitchcock movies.

    Not only have you done your bit for movie buffs everywhere, you've made great strides in mental health (at least for me).