The Secret Agent (1996) - IMDb
28 user 13 critic

The Secret Agent (1996)

London of the late 19th century is a haven for political exiles of all sorts - refugees, partisans, anarchists. Verloc has made his living spying for the Russian government, an agent ... See full summary »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Bob Hoskins ... Verloc
Patricia Arquette ... Winnie
Gérard Depardieu ... Ossipon
Jim Broadbent ... Chief Inspector Heat
Christian Bale ... Stevie
Roger Hammond ... Mr. Michaelis
Eddie Izzard ... Vladimir
Ralph Nossek Ralph Nossek ... Yundt
Neville Phillips ... Ticket Clerk
Elizabeth Spriggs ... Winnie's Mother
Peter Vaughan ... The Driver
Julian Wadham ... The Assistant Commissioner


London of the late 19th century is a haven for political exiles of all sorts - refugees, partisans, anarchists. Verloc has made his living spying for the Russian government, an agent provocateur of sorts, while simultaneously providing information to the London police, specifically Chief Inspector Heat. When the new Russian ambassador demands he prove his worth or lose his salary, Verloc sets off a tragic chain of events that involves his pretty young wife Winnie, her intellectually disabled brother Stevie, and a figure called the Professor, whose fascination with explosives and destruction makes him the person to call on when Verloc needs a bomb. Written by Gary Dickerson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some moments of violence | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Oddly enough, after checking a tape recording of the Italian version of this movie, the name of Robin Williams was neither included on the titles or in the end crew and characters' list. See more »


Vladimir: You purport to be an agent provocateur. I am at a loss to think what you can have provoked, except for my patience.
See more »


Version of Le roman du samedi: L'agent secret (1981) See more »

User Reviews

Boring secret agents
13 March 2007 | by WeredeguSee all my reviews

Whoever cares about international terrorism? It's just a boring subject, let's face it. Any objections? Well, I can understand if there are some. This film, however, might unexpectedly make you accept the truth of the above provocative statements. At least until the next time you zap to a TV news channel that is.

It's hard not to see awesome potential in doing an adaptation of Joseph Conrad's 'The Secret Agent'. And it's hard to believe such a boring and inconsequential mess could be created following up on that very idea. Incredible, just think of the following issues explored in the movie: a web of anarchist militants finding political refuge in 1880s London, an agent provocateur run by the Russian embassy, a would-be suicide bomber, human drama complicating plots and counter-plots and so on. If I managed to excite you a little by mentioning these themes, so sorry, the film will still be boring.

To say something positive, at least it's not altogether unwatchable and, totally unexpectedly for me, the scenes between two actors from whom I would have normally anticipated the least were actually some of the best moments of the film, the scenes between Robin Williams and Gérard Depardieu, both playing anarchists with a rather mysterious (anarchic?) mindset. Oh, and it's quite likely I'll read the book after all, for what I have seen at least was enough to convince me that it might be a good idea.

7 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 28 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

8 November 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Secret Agent See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,909, 10 November 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed