Lancer Spy

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Lancer Spy
Lancer Spy FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Gregory Ratoff
Produced bySamuel G. Engel
Darryl F. Zanuck
Written by Philip Dunne
Based onnovel by Marthe McKenna
Starring Dolores del Río
George Sanders
Peter Lorre
Virginia Field
Sig Ruman
Cinematography Barney McGill
Edited by Louis R. Loeffler
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • October 8, 1937 (1937-10-08)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

Lancer Spy is a 1937 film about an Englishman (Sanders) who impersonates a German officer, receiving fame upon arriving in Germany. A female German spy (del Río) is instructed to check on him but falls in love with him instead.





It was based on a story by Marthe McKenna, a Belgian woman who was a spy for England in World War I. She previously wrote I Was a Spy . [1]

Gregory Ratoff signed a contract with 20th Century Fox to write, produce and direct. The film was originally to star Michael Whalen. [2] Eventually George Sanders took the part.

Germaine Aussey, the French actor, was to have made her American debut in the film. [3]

Peter Lorre was cast after his success in Think Fast, Mr Moto . [4] He gave up a contract to make a film with Gaumont British in England; Fox had to buy out this contract. [5]

Colin Clive was cast in early May [6] as Colonel Fenwick.

Filming started mid May 1937. [7] By the end of the month Aussey had been replaced by Dolores del Río. [8]

Colin Clive collapsed during filming and died. [9]

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  1. Shaffer, George (Apr 12, 1937). "Ratoff Writes Another Good Role for Self". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. 15.
  2. Schallert, Edwin (Apr 9, 1937). "GREGORY RATOFF WILL DIRECT ONE FEATURE AND ACT IN ANOTHER: Marion Claire Likely to Play Breen's Mother". Los Angeles Times. p. 17.
  3. "TWO NEW PICTURES FOR ROLAND DREW". New York Times. Apr 12, 1937. p. 15.
  4. DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL (Apr 18, 1937). "HOLLYWOOD PICKET LINE: The Industry Watches the C. I. O.--Satisfaction--R. Halliburton Flynn". New York Times. p. 169.
  5. Read, Kendall (26 June 1937). "Around and About in Hollywood". Los Angeles Times. p. A7.
  6. Schallert, Edwin (May 5, 1937). "JACK BENNY TO BE ABSENT WHEN WIFE DEBUTS IN PICTURE: Comedians Name 'Fall Guys' as next Vehicle". Los Angeles Times. p. A10.
  7. "NEW FILM PRODUCTIONS STARTED DURTNG WEEK". Los Angeles Times. May 16, 1937. p. C1.
  8. Schallert, Edwin (May 28, 1937). "DRAMATIC STORY BY FULOP-MILLER PURCHASED TO STAR BOBBY BREEN: United Artists Assembling New Film Units". Los Angeles Times. p. 19.
  9. "Stage and Film Career". The Scotsman. Edinburgh, Scotland. 26 June 1937. p. 17.