Five Fingers

20th Century Fox Released 1952




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Movie Summary

Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Five Fingers is a 1952 drama from 20th Century Fox, set in Turkey (a neutral country) during World War II. A mystery man, known by the code-name "Cicero", approaches an attache at the German Embassy with an amazing offer - photographs of all the top-secret documents in the British Ambassador's safe. Over a number of weeks - and in return for many thousands of pounds in cash - Cicero provides just such photographs, including full plans for D-Day. But is he a genuine freelance spy, as he claims, or might he be a British double-agent planting false information? This adaptation of a notorious true story does not stick entirely to the facts - but everything in this film which is utterly fantastic and impossible is, in fact, true.


Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • This was Joseph L. Mankiewicz's final film under his contract with Twentieth Century Fox, and he replaced Henry Hathaway as director. He insisted on rewriting Michael Wilson's extant screenplay, to which studio chief Darryl Zanuck agreed, on condition that he take no credit for it.

  • QUOTES (3)

  • NOTES (2)

    • This film features an uncredited appearance (in the role of Diello's Brazilian banker) by an actor known at the time as "David Wolfe". He was seen in a few Hollywood films of the period, but became a victim of blacklisting for alleged leftist views. He emigrated to Britain and became a busy stage and television actor, first shaving off his trademark moustache and reverting to his real name of David Bauer. Under his real name, he was seen in many European-made movies, including "Diamonds Are Forever", "Danger Route" and "Endless Night", and generally had a more successful career than he had had in the US. He died in 1973 during an engagement with the National Theatre in London, where he was playing Sheriff Pinky Hartman in "The Front Page".

    • The post-war revelations of L.C. Moyzisch, a spy at the German Embassy in Ankara during World War II, concerning the leaks of top-secret information from the British Embassy in the same city, caused a huge scandal. This account was extensively fictionalised; the real "Cicero" did not have a beautiful Countess as his assistant (or mistress) but was widely believed to be the British ambassador's homosexual lover, as well as his valet. The real man was named Eleazar Bazna, not "Diello"; he was still alive, and in Ankara, when the film was being made there, and offered his services as technical adviser (for a large fee) to the film-makers. Director Joseph Mankiewicz declined this suggestion, however.


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