A long-time colleague who knows my interest and enchantment with classic cinema of Hollywood’s Golden Era forwarded me this long forgotten gem, Miss V from Moscow. It is a pro-Soviet/anti-Nazi counter-intelligence drama concerning a lookalike espionage agent. The Miss V of the title is Vera Marova, a Soviet spy sent to Paris to impersonate her lookalike, a German spy recently liquidated by the French Resistance. As with other, better-known American films produced in the midst of World War II like Mission to Moscow, The North Star, and Song of Russia, the film has a pronounced pro-Soviet tone.
The film stars Lola Lane, one of Warner Brothers legendary four Lane sisters (Leota, Lola, Rosemary, and Priscilla) featured in such vehicles as Four Daughters, Four Wives, and Four Mothers. The first film, Four Daughters, also contained the breakout role for the extraordinary actor John Garfield, whose brilliant short career was ended by a heinous combination of health problems and persecution for his leftist political beliefs by being called to testify before the U.S. Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee where he denied Communist Party affiliation and refused to “name names”, effectively ending his film career. Probably the most noted of the Lane sisters (and my personal favorite) was Priscilla, who was an almost dead ringer for contemporary actress Hayden Panettiere. Watch her performances in the Alfred Hitchcock espionage thriller, Saboteur (1942), or the hilarious screwball comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944).6:18 am on March 28, 2021 Email Charles Burris