For, April 11, 2014

James Mason is probably best remembered in support of Cary Grant in Hitchcock's "North By Northwest" (1959) and Judy Garland in "A Star Is Born" (1954).

And fantasy fans may know him as Capt. Nemo in Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954) and as the adventurer who takes a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (1959).

When he was older, Mason had prominent roles in "The Boys From Brazil" (1978), "The Verdict" (1982) and played Watson to Christopher Plummer's Holmes in "Murder By Decree" (1979).

But he was also a leading man in his own right and had a number of memorable starring roles in the 1950s, including "5 Fingers" (1952, b/w), an exceptional spy thriller based on the true story of a valet to a British ambassador during World War II who sold secrets to the Nazis.

Mason is excellent as the valet, and the film ratchets up suspense as he does his dirty work, only to find himself eventually implicated by a woman scorned.  


He then pulls off one last major-documents theft for the Nazis, to help him escape to South America with great wealth, only to be undone by an ironic twist.

This terrific film was released on VHS in 1998 but has never been on DVD — until now. This new release from Fox Cinema Archives marks "5 Fingers' " disc debut and it looks great. Available at Amazon and other online outlets.