5 Fingers – 1952




Primary Location:

  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Ankara, Turkey
  • 20th Century Fox Studios, Los Angeles, California, USA

5 Fingers – 1952

5 FINGERS is a 1952 spy classic movie starring James Mason as Ulysses Diello.

5 FINGERS is based on the true story of Albanian-born Elyesa Bazna, who worked as a valet for the British ambassador to Turkey during World War II and became a Nazi spy. Also, it is based on the L.C. Moyzisch novel “Operation Cicero”.  If you are a fan of our podcast, undoubtedly noticed that we generally like spy movies based on reality.   Emphatically, 5 FINGERS is no exception.

5 FINGERS gives us a look at the mind of a turncoat. Who would sell government secrets to the opposition?

James Mason gives a wonderful performance as Diello. Mason’s ability to play a deviant willing to sell government secrets while also playing the role of a dutiful valet is quite believable. We especially love how he changes his expressions during the last 90 seconds of the movie.

And then you add the acting performances of Danielle Darrieux as Countess Anna Staviska, Michael Rennie as Colin Travers, Walter Hampden as Sir Frederic Taylor, Oskar Karlweis as L.C. Moyzisch, and Herbert Berghof as the sinister Colonel von Richter and you have an excellent cast that really delivers in 5 FINGERS.

Bernard Herrmann’s score and Norbert Brodine’s cinematography add depth and suspense to 5 FINGERS. Both aspects of the movie work well together. Also, the writing team of Michael Wilson, L.C. Moysisch, and Joseph L. Mankiewicz must be commended. This is a simple story, but it is quite compelling.

We highly recommend 5 Fingers from 1952 as a must watch for any spy movie fan.


We should highlight that this episode is about the 1952 movie 5 FINGERS with the numeral 5 at the beginning.  There is a completely different movie from 2006 movie called FIVE FINGERS that has nothing to do with this one. (Note the difference between how the word five is depicted in the titles)

If you haven’t watched 5 Fingers, you can watch it on YouTube.

Related Podcasts

5 Fingers Decoded!

Dan and Tom decode the 1952 classic spy movie 5 FINGERS. Starring James Mason this is a fantastic espionage thriller, not an action thriller.


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