Lancer Spy

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.

Lancer Spy
Lancer Spy FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byGregory Ratoff
Produced bySamuel G. Engel
Darryl F. Zanuck
Written byPhilip Dunne
Based onnovel by Marthe McKenna
StarringDolores del Río
George Sanders
Peter Lorre
Virginia Field
Sig Ruman
CinematographyBarney McGill
Edited byLouis R. Loeffler
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • October 8, 1937 (1937-10-08)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States



It was based on a story by Marthe McKenna, a Belgian woman who was a spy for England in World War One. 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]

Filming started mid May 1937.[7] By the end of the money Aussey had been replaced by Dolores del Río.[8]

Colin Clive collapsed during filming and died.[9]


  1. ^ Ratoff Writes Another Good Role for Self Shaffer, George. Chicago Daily Tribune 12 Apr 1937: 15.
  2. ^ GREGORY RATOFF WILL DIRECT ONE FEATURE AND ACT IN ANOTHER: Marion Claire Likely to Play Breen's Mother Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 9 Apr 1937: 17.
  3. ^ TWO NEW PICTURES FOR ROLAND DREW New York Times 12 Apr 1937: 15.
  4. ^ HOLLYWOOD PICKET LINE: The Industry Watches the C. I. O.--Satisfaction--R. Halliburton Flynn By DOUGLAS W. CHURCHILL. New York Times 18 Apr 1937: 169.
  5. ^ Around and About in Hollywood Read, Kendall. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]26 June 1937: A7.
  6. ^ JACK BENNY TO BE ABSENT WHEN WIFE DEBUTS IN PICTURE: Comedians Name 'Fall Guys' as next Vehicle Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]05 May 1937: A10.
  7. ^ NEW FILM PRODUCTIONS STARTED DURTNG WEEK Los Angeles Times (1923-1995); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]16 May 1937: C1.
  8. ^ DRAMATIC STORY BY FULOP-MILLER PURCHASED TO STAR BOBBY BREEN: United Artists Assembling New Film Units Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 28 May 1937: 19.
  9. ^ Stage and Film Career The Scotsman (1921-1950); Edinburgh, Scotland [Edinburgh, Scotland]26 June 1937: 17.

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