The General (1926)
Buster Keaton: engineer, demolitions and sabotage, counterespionage, covert paramilitary strike force, master of disguise and infiltration, spy, intelligence gatherer, accidental ballistics expert, army lieutenant, one man army.
With no sound or color except sepia and grey tones.
I thought it was awesome. I know it doesn’t make the classic lists of spy movies but it probably should. I was impressed by their ability to convey basic and complicated situations with no dialogue except a few written frames. Johnnie Gray was a little rough with Annabelle but with his luck, she should be happy things worked out as well as they did.
Plus it’s one of the few spy movies you can safely watch while young children are around.
I know there’s some old school movie beef between Keaton and Chaplin fans and some folks don’t even understand the appeal of a movie like this but there’s such a sharp contrast between this movie and what you can currently rent yet they have to tackle similar problems of story. You eat the same meal at every Olive Garden in the country and it would probably taste pretty good most times (e.g. Statham or Bourne movies) but sometimes you want to go downtown to some dumpy family owned restaurant to see how they would make the same dish (e.g. any movie 50 years or older).
Plus, if you’re watching things that aren’t found in a red box because you like movies that much then you are probably more than willing to watch the origins of a genre and gather insight into the early years of public opinions on intelligence/covert agents.
In case you think it was vague, few things are as clearly stated in this movie as that they are spies and that they consider him to be a spy.