The Invisible Front

The Invisible Front (German: Die unsichtbare Front), or A submarine spying film or Ein U-Boot-Spionage-Film in German, is a German cloak-and-dagger-movie from 1932, directed by Richard Eichberg and starring Trude von Molo, Karl Ludwig Diehl, Veit Harlan and Paul Hörbiger. The story was written by Robert A. Stemmle, Curt Siodmak and Max W. Kimmich, who also presented the idea to this film to his colleagues.

The Invisible Front
Directed byRichard Eichberg
Written byRobert A. Stemmle
Curt Siodmak
Max W. Kimmich
Release date
  • 23 December 1932 (1932-12-23)

The location shooting started on 7 October 1932, while the studio shooting began only two weeks later, on 21 October 1932. The final movie passed censorship on 22 December 1932 and made its debut just a day later in Berlins Capitol cinema.


During World War I, young Ellen Lange runs away from her boarding school in Hamburg, because she cannot stand its strict rules any longer, and escapes to her brother Rolf, who lives in Kiel. Rolf, a vice-helmsman by profession, is not too enthusiastic about Ellen's arrival, because he has to go to England in secret orders. So he tries to convince her to go back to her boarding school, and when they both separate at the station, he is convinced that she will do so. But Ellen is unwilling to give up her new freedom again, so she takes another train to Berlin instead. During the journey, she meets a young girl that promises to help her find a job in Berlin. She also provides Ellen with the address of "Aunt Jenny", a dubious lady that finally gets her a job in a music store. After her three months of probation, Mr. Hansen, her boss, orders Ellen to bring a precious violin to Copenhagen. He also provides her with a false passport, as Ellen does not have any identity papers.

Only after her arrival at Copenhagen, Ellen learns that she has not only transported the violin, but also secret strategic papers that were stolen in Berlin. She also meets Erik Larsen, a German secret service agent who works under cover at the Lyra publishing house, that in fact is a centre of the enemy's espionage ring. After that, she decides to work for the German secret service to make up for her fault. As a first step, after returning to Berlin, she tells the German counterespionage about the music shop in Copenhagen, which is rounded up shortly afterwards. Only now, Ellen learns that the papers she smuggled out of the country lead to the destruction of her brother's submarine. Deeply affected by his death, she gives in to Larsen to take on to another spying order with him which leads them both via Copenhagen to London. When they are invited to a ball at the American military delegation there, Ellen manages to distract Colonel Stanley long enough for Larsen to search the colonel's desk and to steal important papers from it. But when the boss of Lyra publishing house arrives at the party, he recognizes her and gets her arrested. During a German airship attack, Larsen is able to free her again, but while the two are attempting to escape, Ellen is fatally injured by the fragment of a German bomb.


  • The Invisible Front on IMDb
  • Klaus, Ulrich J. German sound films. Film encyclopedia of full-length German and German-speaking sound films, sorted by their German first showings. - Ulrich J. Klaus - Berlin [et. al.]. (Klaus-Archive, Vol. 3, 1932)
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