Lang's penchant for shooting at night (which goes back to his days in the German film industry) and his ability to make people sinister without actually showing them doing sinister things is partly why this simple movie works.It's also made complicated by the large range of locations used (or invented in the studio), and by the irony of the sweet love affair in the wings in the second half.But really this is a movie about good against evil, about free thinking versus doing what you're told.And about love, completely unfulfilled, but so incipient you feel it and want it.This movie is one of a number of films made during the late 1930s and early 1940s that represented pro-American intervention in the war. Even the extra theme that the Nazis are the bad guys sounded well worn, though the fact it was shot and released during that interesting two year period of WWII before the Americans got involved is something of a hook.But I watched mainly because the formerly German director, Fritz Lang, is one of the handful of best directors ever. The clichés are made fresh--even the Nazi types are different than you'd expect.His physical presence in a film is often a shade unconvincing.Lang might have found a perfect balance here because Thorndike's situation is so harsh, at least at times, and there is often a contrasting focus on Pidgeon's face and the innocence it is so good at projecting.
Or if you like film noir, since this is a pre-cursor.
Then he shifted to television first as newscaster on PTV-4’s Pangunahing Balita, Balita Ala-Una and PTV News Nationwide, and host of the public-affairs programs Ang Pandayan ni Mang Pandoy and Dakila Ka Pinoy (1993 to 1997).
He was also the executive producer and director of the public-affairs program of IBC-13, Ikaw ang Humatol (1994–1997). Soon, he was seen worldwide via ANC (ABS-CBN’s sister station) as newscaster/anchorman for Dateline News (1998 to 2000) and as program host of Kumusta Ka, Bayan on The Filipino Channel (TFC).
You might say it's a propaganda film if you want to use that word loosely.
It does at the very end send a message to the viewers, and to Hitler, that the British are out to get him.
And the main Nazi is played by upper crust British legend George Sanders (who was born in Russia). Of course, Lang was an expatriate German Jew working for Hollywood.