Three Faces East (1930 film)

Three Faces East

theatrical releaseposter
Directed by Roy Del Ruth
Produced by Daryl Zanuck
Written by Arthur Caesar
Oliver H. P. Garrett
Based on Three Faces East (play)
by Anthony Paul Kelly
Starring Constance Bennett
Music by Paul Lamkoff
Cinematography Barney McGill
Edited by William Holmes
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release dates
  • July 26, 1930 (1930-07-26) (US premiere)
Country United States
Language English

Three Faces East is a 1930 American Pre-Code film directed by Roy Del Ruth, starring Constance Bennett and Erich von Stroheim. Produced by Daryl Zanuck and released by Warner Brothers it is based on a 1918 Broadway play about World War I spies, Three Faces East.[1] It was filmed as a silent in 1926.[2] A later remake starred Boris Karloff and Margaret Lindsay in British Intelligence.


The story takes place during World War I. The action opens on a French battlefield. After meeting with German spy Schiller Blacher (Erich von Stroheim), Z-1 (Constance Bennett) is sent on a mission to England. The action then moves into the London home of Sir Winston Chamberlain (William Holden- no relation to the 1950s star of the same name). Sir Winston does not know that his supposedly faithful butler, Vardar, is actually Blacher. When Z-1, as Frances Hawtree, arrives at the home, Vardar, who is in love with her, believes her to be a loyal German agent, but things turn out otherwise when she prevents him from sending a stolen code back to Germany and thus reveals her true allegiance.


The film survived complete. It was transferred unto 16mm film by Associated Artists Productions in the 1956-1958 and shown on television. A 16mm copy is housed at the Wisconsin Center for Film & Theater Research.[3] Another print exists at the Library of Congress.[4]

The film is now available on video-on-demand from WB Archive, WB Shop and Amazon.[5]



  1. Three Faces East as produced on Broadway at the Cohan and Harris Theatre and the Longacre Theatre respectively, beginning August 13, 1918, 335 performances,; accessed August 10, 2015.
  2. The American Film Institute Catalog Feature Films: 1921-30 by The American Film Institute, copyright 1971
  3. "Three Faces East (1930)". Wisconsin Historical Society.
  4. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, by The American film Institute, c. 1978
  5. Three Faces East at
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