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The movies fascination with espionage can be traced back to the onset of World War I when spying was popularized in serials such as Lucille Love Girl Of Mystery 1914 Pearl Of The Army 1916 starring Pearl White Liberty A Daughter Of The USA 1916 and Patria 1917 Melodramas of Americans fighting German spies also began appearing with Our Secret Wives 1915 The Hero Of The Submarine 1916 and As In A Looking Glass 1916 After the countrys entry into the war a plethora of similar espionage tales were made including The Greatest Power 1917 starring Ethel Barrymore and The Marriage Ring 1918 directed by Fred Niblo Landmark filmmaker DW Griffith made his only foray into the genre with The Great Love 1918 about a Canadian soldier whose girlfriend unwittingly marries a German spy As the title of Raoul Walshs The Prussian Cur 1918 suggests most spy movies of the time were fairly lurid propaganda films other examples include The Hun Within 1918 The Claws Of The Hun 1918 and The Kasiers Shadow 1918 World War I espionage tales appeared even after the war with such late releases as The Dark Star 1919 directed by Alan Dwan and 23-12 Hours Leave 1919 directed by Henry King they continued into the 1920s with New Lives For Old 1925 Secret Orders 1926 and producerdirector Rex Ingrams drama of a female German spy Mare Nostrum 1926 Greta Garbo portrayed a Russian agent who falls in love with an Austrian captain in The Mysterious Lady 1928 Comedies that poked fun at World War I intrigue included The Better Ole 1926 with Sydney Chaplin Friendly Enemies 1925 with Weber and Fields and Heart Trouble 1928 with Harry Langdon The first classic of espionage however was set in the present Spies 1928 directed by Fritz Lang and written by Thea Von Harbou starred Rudolf Klein-Rogge as the master criminal Haghi who uses a vast network of agents to destabilize economies and
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