Man on a String

Man on a String is a 1960 neo noir film drama directed by Andre DeToth, loosely based on the life of Boris Morros. The film was released by Columbia Pictures and stars Ernest Borgnine and Kerwin Mathews.[1] It was the last film DeToth had directed in the United States.

Man on a String
film poster
Directed byAndre DeToth
Produced byLouis de Rochemont
Screenplay byJohn Kafka
Virginia Shaler
Based onMy Ten Years as a Counterspy
by Boris Morros with Charles Samuels
StarringErnest Borgnine
Kerwin Mathews
Colleen Dewhurst
Alexander Scourby
Music byGeorge Duning
CinematographyAlbert Benitz
Charles Lawton Jr.
Pierre Pioncarde
Gayne Rescher
Edited byAl Clark
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
March 25, 1960
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States


A government intelligence agency in Washington, D.C., wants agent Frank Sanford to follow Boris Mitrov, a film producer who appears to also be a Russian spy. Helen and Adrian Benson, a wealthy American couple with a home in Beverly Hills and a film studio, are Communist sympathizers as well, in league with Colonel Vadja Kubelov, the top KGB man in the U.S.

Boris's office is bugged by his assistant, Bob Avery, a plant who is working for the Americans. Now that he has been caught red-handed, Boris is willing to turn double agent, going to Berlin in the pretense of making a documentary film there.

Helen is having an affair with Kubelov, but the Bensons' home has been bugged and they try to flee to Mexico. In the meantime, Boris is sent to Moscow to be entrusted with a new assignment, so Avery gives him a code word ("Cinerama") in case he's ever in danger.

Upon learning that Adrian intends to expose Boris and Kubelov publicly, Avery is able to alert Boris to get back to Germany as soon as possible. A checkpoint is closed, but Boris shoots a police officer and escapes safely to West Berlin, only to end up in a fight for his life with a Russian assassin.



Man on a String was released to DVD by Sony Picture Home Entertainment on March 4, 2011, via its DVD-on-demand system available through Amazon.

See also


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