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5 Fingers (1952)

 NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Import, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Korean
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Imports
  • DVD Release Date: October 28, 2008
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G67M4U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,422 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

NTSC/Region 0. Import pressing of the classic 1952 film starring, James Mason and Danielle Darrieux. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. This spy thriller depicts a clever British servant who is tired of being treated as an inferior. He escapes his menial existence with money and a beautiful woman gained by betraying his country. The film's ironic climax is one of the most stunning twists in the history of spy films.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional WWII Spy Movie May 29, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Rather astonishingly, "5 Fingers" is based on a true story of WWII espionage in Turkey. In the British consulate in Ankara, an enigmatic spy is selling confidential information to the Germans. James Mason plays Ulysses Diello, a practically perfect manservant who dreams of a better life. He plots to become a 'gentleman' via his spying and teams up with an impoverished Polish Countess (Danielle Darrieux). Buckle your seatbelts, because it's going to be a bumpy night!

Mason's suave British demeanor has never been used to such perfect effect. He's spectacular as the pragmatic spy, who is given the codename "Cicero." Danielle Darrieux is nearly as good in her role, as are the supporting cast. The film is as enjoyable and well-made a spy flick as you're likely to ever see. The Oscar nominated script is filled with sharp writing, unforeseen plot twists, and some genuine laughs. Joseph L. Mankiewicz ("All About Eve") directed and received an Oscar nomination -- it's among his very best work. Why this movie is not better known is a mystery. "5 Fingers" has every element of a true classic -- most highly recommended.

Trivia: The movie was made into a short lived 1955 TV series ("Operation Cicero"), with Ricardo Montalban in the Mason role!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
Picture the results of the Normandy invasion if the Germans had known in advance that the Second Front would take place there in early June. It turns out they did know...and they didn't believe the information was true. Note that elements of the plot are discussed.

Ulysses Diallo (James Mason) is the valet to the British ambassador to neutral Turkey in 1944. He has perfect manners. He is invaluable to the ambassador. He is trusted. Diallo was born in Albania but came to England at an early age. Determined to become an English gentlemen, he decided that the best way to learn was to become an English gentleman's gentleman. "I may not be a gentleman yet," he tells Countess Anna Staviska (Danielle Darrieux) one evening after she slaps his face, "but I am the best gentleman's gentleman." The Countess has lost her husband and her wealth in the war, and now is an increasingly poor but highly attractive woman who is willing to serve the Germans or the English for money. In Ankara, full of intrigue and agents, there are always opportunities. Diallo had also, at one time, been gentleman's gentleman to her husband.

Diallo decides he can make very large sums of money by photographing secret documents the Ambassador keeps in the embassy safe, to which Diallo has access, and giving them to the Germans. He will insist on being paid in English pounds sterling. He estimates over a period of a few weeks he'll have enough funds to live the life of a gentleman in Rio de Janeiro. He recruits the countess to help him, to be his banker, in exchange for funds he will pay her. And as the days go by, their arrangement extends to her bed. The German's pay, but they aren't sure of the man they have code named Cicero. The information appears to be too good to be true. They suspect a British trick.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars WWII betrayal and espionage December 25, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Five Fingers is a documentary style recounting of a true story involving espionage in neutral WWII Turkey.
The refined and impeccably spoken James Mason plays the traitorous Ulysses Diello, personal valet for the British ambassador to Turkey. Code named Cicero, Mason photographs precious wartime secrets pilfered from the ambassador's safe and sells them to the Nazis. Mason coaxes the exotic Danielle Darrieux playing the now penniless Polish Countess Staviska, wife of his previous employer, to partake in his ruthless ploy.
Insatiable in their desire for money, both Mason and Darrieux betray their friends and countries to the Gestapo.
Joseph Mankiewicz does a creditable job directing this reprehensible tale based on the book by L.C. Moyzisch, a member of the German consulate and bit player in this drama.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Skip it! January 8, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film is excellent, but the Korean DVD is not. Horrid transfer, with blocked up blacks, washed out whites and overall soft image. Don't waste your money as I did. Why 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment hasn't yet released this offically is a mystery, but I recommend writing to them and waiting.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cicero July 19, 2006
The only question raised by this superb spy story is why it is called "5 Fingers". The title seems to have nothing to do with the story: perhaps I missed something. It is a supremely well-directed, well-written, well-acted, well-shot movie, as one might expect from the director of "All About Eve". Taut, convincing, suspenseful, gripping and humorous. James Mason was never better cast, or delivered better --- or more astonishingly valuable --- goods. There is a delicious class edge to the interplay between him, as a gentleman's gentleman, and his nemesis, Countess Danielle Darrieux. The introduction to the film heavily stresses the absolute truth of the details of this espionage caper set in Turkey in WWII, in the period shortly preceding D-Day, 1944. This seems incredible, but even if the facts have been embroidered, it is still a riveting piece of film-making. The ending is brilliant. Yes, indeed, why isn't it better known?
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Stars for 5 Fingers! October 18, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Pardon the awkward pun but "5 Fingers" is a first rate cloak and dagger tale set in Ankara, Turkey during WW2. James Mason is a valet to the British ambassador. Coldly and chillingly self- assured, he decides to make a fortune by stealing war secrets and selling them to a contact at the German embassy. All goes well until "someone" gets suspicious and the film jumps into high gear. "5F" is the type of film where it is quintessentially necessary for a reviewer to not even HINT at the ending. Any plot details must end here. This reviewer can report that the movie's settings are top notch. Documentary backgrounds were shot in Istanbul, Ankara and Berlin to generate realism and solid effect. The supporting cast is excellent, especially those playing the Germans. Michael Rennie, one of the "suspicious" folks, is the only "name" among them. All support Mr. Mason who carries "5F" virtually single-handed. Mason has that certain evil charm to play the semi-likeable villain. (One wonders if people are so cool under fire in real life!) The producers had the foresight to shoot "5F"in black and white. This movie in the "High Noon", "Psycho" and "Casablanca" tradition, should not be colorized. I've read reviews stating that "5F" is too long but this reviewer disagrees. It runs under 2 hours and anyone into suspense, detective or secret agent tales should NOT become restless. Most seem to agree that "5F" was based on a real life incident. If so, there must have been some very stupid, very brave and very treacherous people in Europe during the Big One.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
as advertised, and prompt delivery
Published 2 months ago by C. E. phayre
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Fingers
Excellent film, James Mason always does such an excellent job on his roles. The most amazing part of the film is it's a true story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by BG
5.0 out of 5 stars classic James Mason
based on a true spy story. fascinating. well acted. a glimpse into WWII society and class. love this genre. James Mason is perfectly cast.
Published 6 months ago by avid fan
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeps you on the edge of your chair.
This movie is a classic. It's a true story. Typically James Mason does a superb acting job. If you are into world war two spy movies this one is for you.
Published 7 months ago by wayne h scott
5.0 out of 5 stars Spy thriller
Tense, well written, believeable. One of James Mason's finest performances, IMO.

It shows you the oft-ignored civilian/aristocratic tribulation during WW-2.
Published 8 months ago by N. Caputo
4.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY ON DVD!
A little known spy thriller set in Turkey during World War 2 which builds considerable suspense in its leisurely way. Read more
Published 15 months ago by richard d street
2.0 out of 5 stars It is the DVD that stinks
The movie itself is great but the DVD copy sound is muffled and incoherent. Too bad. This is really one of the great movies.
Published 15 months ago by Bendeguz Viragh
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make spy films like this anymore unfortunately
This is a well done, World War Ii spy thriller based on a true story, and starring James Mason--one can't imagine anyone else in the role. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mkblev
James Mason, with his aristocratic demeanor is simply outstanding in this docudrama titled "5 FINGERS". Read more
Published 16 months ago by Love Our Military Men
5.0 out of 5 stars Spy saga
Well done drama of a true story about WW II spy activity in the British Embasy in Turkey. Great acting and story.
Published 17 months ago by Gary R Chandler
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