The Two-Headed Spy (1958)

screenshot from The Two-Headed Spy

Directed by: Andre de Toth
Screenwriter(s): Michael Wilson (credited as James O'Donnell)
Starring: Jack Hawkins, Gia Scala, Alexander Knox, Donald Pleasence, Michael Caine
Genre: Spy / Thriller / War / World War II
Country: UK
Running time: 1h 33m
Rating: 7 out of 10

Effective World War II drama featuring Jack Hawkins as General Schottland, one of the fast rising stars of the Nazi Party, handpicked by Hitler himself to become Head of Supplies for the German Army. But Schottland has dual nationality, having been born and educated in Britain, and is in fact feeding secrets on the German war plans to the Allies.

We follow Schottland’s inexorable rise to power during the war, with stock footage and captions (Denmark 1940, Italy 1943, etc) marking the passing of time. Due to budget restrictions, most of the film is set in high-ranking offices in Berlin.

Hawkins excels as the decorated WWI hero, who is, to the outside world ‘100% National Socialist’, but who disagrees with the methods of the Third Reich. Aware that he is under suspicion from his possibly duplicitous girlfriend (Scala) and his ambitious lieutenant, he has to curry favour with his superior officers, persuading them that he is deeply concerned about both espionage within his department and support among officers for a plan to murder Hitler.

Allegedly based on a true story, the ‘real’ Schottland, AP Scotland, served as an advisor on set. While it is possible that Scotland/Schottland was a double agent within German command in the 1930s, he didn’t see fit to mention it in his own autobiography, so perhaps we can charitably say that it is ‘inspired’ by a true story.


In one of his earliest roles, Caine plays one of Hitler’s aides (on far right of pic at top).

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