The Language and Genealogy of Early Spy Cinema

  • Lukasz Boron


THE LANGUAGE AND GENEALOGY OF EARLY SPY CINEMA: 1919-1959 AbstractThe following paper is a genre-specific study of early spy cinema that traces the language and genealogy of the genre from its conception to its modernity, in the films of Hitchcock, Reed, Wilder, Huston, and Fuller. Focusing on American and German film tradition, this paper examines espionage cinema from 1919-1959. The origins of the hero are briefly examined through a historical framework that traces his lineage and literary sources of influence to: epic poetry and Byronism, mythology, folklore, legend, oral tradition and early espionage literature. The impetus of this study is the representational and ideological analysis of several recurring motifs - or signifiers - within the spy genre, namely: (a) the domesticated spy-agent, (b) the active investigator and passive detective as spy, (c) the fugitive spy, or agent in flight, (d) the double agent or domestic informer, and (e)...