The Great Deception
(1926), 61 minutes, b&w

The Great Deception was a silent melodrama featuring Basil Rathbone as a World War I German agent. I have not seen the film, so I cannot offer my own review of it. What follows is from Michael Druxman's book Basil Rathbone: His Life and Films,* pages 115-116.

"The Great Deception" was an exciting, but somewhat implausible, tale of espionage during World War I. Cyril Mansfield (Ben Lyon) works in England for the German Secret Service, yet is, in fact, loyal to British Intelligence. A German agent, Rizzio (Rathbone), suspects Cyril's disloyalty to the Fatherland and abducts his girl friend, Lois (Aileen Pringle). She innocently betrays her lover and the pair are condemned to death. Luckily, they are able to escape before the sentence is carried out.

* Basil Rathbone: His Life and His Films, by Michael B. Druxman (South Brunswick and New York: A.S. Barnes), 1975. (Out of print, but available from the author. If interested click here.)

According to the New York Times, Rathbone played the role of the German agent in a convincing fashion.

The Great Deception was based on the 1915 novel The Yellow Dove by George Gibbs. Another film, Shadows of Suspicion, made in 1919, was also based on The Yellow Dove. The characters' names are different, so apparently The Great Deception is not a remake of the earlier film, but a different version of the story.

Rathbone, Aileen Pringle and Ben Lyon
Rathbone, Aileen Pringle, and Ben Lyon

Rathbone and Aileen Pringle

 

       

Cast

 

Credits

 
Ben Lyon .......... Cyril Mansfield Production Co. ............. First National
Basil Rathbone ............ Rizzio   Producer ....................... Robert Kane
Aileen Pringle ............... Lois   Director ......................... Howard Higgin
Sam Hardy .................. Handy   Screenplay ................... Paul Bern
Charlotte Walker ......... Mrs. Mansfield  

(based on novel The Yellow Dove  
     by George Gibbs)

Amelia Summerville .... Lady Jane   Cinematographer ......... Ernest Haller
Hubert Wilke ............... Gen. Von Frankenhauser    
Lucien Prival ................ Von Markow      
Lucius Henderson ....... Burton      
Mark Gonzales ............. Maxwell      
         
         
         
 

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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2009