I know there are a ton of films regarding undercover agents, spies etc... and, for some reason, I had a tough time but I came up with 3. I am thinking "The Departed" will be a big one this week, and it’s a good film, but I went another way, of course, with one film I have talked about before but, I love it, so I am repeating this film yet again. It’s fun to check out Wandering Through The Shelves to find out what everyone else has chosen. Here are my 3...
1. WHITE HEAT-1949
This gem is the film I have talked about before but it is brilliant and I love it, so here we go again. James Cagney plays one whack a doodle gangster who loves his mother in a unhealthy way. Mom enables her son and helps him lead his gang which includes Cagney’s no good wife, played by Virginia Mayo who was great as his snoring, two-timing slut. Enter the cops who decide to infiltrate the gang using Edmond O’Brien who becomes Cagney’s confidant when Cagney goes to prison to dodge something bigger. The menace that Cagney displays along with his vulnerability, in psycho kind of way, leads to some pretty epic scenes culminating in an explosive ending.
2. COUNTERFEIT TRAITOR-1962
I recall seeing a photo in my Life book of William Holden crying out through the bars. From that moment I had to see the film and I finally did a decade ago, and I loved it. It’s based on a true story of Eric Erickson, a U. S. born Swedish citizen, who has business oil dealings in Germany during World War 2. He is approached by The Allies to spy on some big Nazi bastards with the help of the German underground. His contact is the beautiful Marianne (Lilli Palmer) who works for the resistance, and they fall in love but, it is unfortunately, short lived. This is another gem that is hard to find unless you have the DVD like I do or you watch it on YouTube. It is well acted, tense and shows that not all Germans were Nazi lovers. It's a must see!
For a complete change of pace, I chose this very funny movie starring Melissa McCarthy as a low level spy helper who is the eyes and ears for the top spy played by Jude Law. He is killed and the one they have to choose to go undercover is, yup, McCarthy who is given a horrible name and is only supposed to follow the mark. She does more and it goes from there. I find this movie hilarious from the basement where she works that is infested with mice and bats, to the scene stealing Jason Statham as a dim-witted spy. I also love Rose Byrne and her big hair as the evil nemesis. This is so funny and I can watch this over and over again.
Which 3 would you choose?