5 Fingers (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1952)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents 5 Fingers.

criterion logoBased on the true story of a World War II spy in neutral Turkey, 5 Fingers follows an ambitious and extremely clever valet (James Mason) who tires of being a servant and forms a plan to promote himself to rich gentleman of leisure by selling top-secret information from the British embassy to the Germans, including details about D-Day’s Operation Overlord.  The Nazis, his British employers, Allied intelligence, and a Polish refugee Countess are all manipulated by the valet code-named Cicero, even as agents and counter-agents close in around him.  One of the best war thrillers made, 5 Fingers is woven with patriotism, weariness, passion, and greed, spearheaded by the critically acclaimed script and direction of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, a suspenseful score from Bernard Herrmann, and a magnificent performance by Mason as the tightly controlled spy maintaining his cool ambitions even as his plans deteriorate.

Disc Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • The music of 5 Fingers, an interactive essay by Christopher Husted of Bernard Herrmann’s estate
  • 1952 and 1955 Lux Radio Theatre performances of 5 Fingers with James Mason and his wife Pamela Mason
  • Operation Cicero, the 46-minute Hour of the Stars TV version starring Ricardo Montalbon and Peter Lorre
  • Inside Cicero, a new 30-minute feature on the real life Cicero, Elyesa Banza
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic Philip Kemp, 1952 reviews by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times and Hollis Alpert of the Saturday Review, and behind-the-scenes photos of the film’s production

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