"The Spider and the Fly is set in Paris during the cloud-cuckoo days before WW I. The storyline intertwines the destinies of three people. Guy Rolfe plays Phillipe de Ledocq, a resourceful safecracker who always manages to elude arrest. Eric Portman is cast as police-chief Maubert, who will not rest until Ledocq is behind bars. And Nadia Gray is Madeleine, the woman beloved by both Ledocq and Maubert. Just as Maubert has managed to capture his man, Ledocq is released at the behest of the government, who wants him to steal secrets from the German embassy revealing the whereabouts of the Kaiser's secret agents. And just how does Madeleine figure into all of this? Spider and the Fly is a diverting precursor to the 1960s TV series It Takes a Thief." ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Were it not for the the totally wooden efforts of the very tall Guy Rolfe ("Lodocq") this could have been a really good little crime drama. As it is, though, it's still a good story with two distinct parts - the first sees police chief "Maubert" (Eric Portman) trying to apprehend a successful safe-cracker, the second sees him team up with his erstwhile nemesis to work together to thwart the Bosch in France during the early stages of the Great War. Good sharp writing, tensely directed with enjoyable contributions from Nadia Gray ("Madeleine"), Edward Chapman as the no nonsense Interior Minister and a young George Cole as Portman's sergeant sidekick "Marc". It is a little more than just a routine crime caper; it tries to demonstrate that all things being equal even a criminal and a policeman can work together when the fate of their nation is in jeopardy. Robert Hamer manages to keep a sense of fun and jeopardy prevailing for much of this characterful film. A shame Rolfe's talent could raise to the same heights as his head - but still, a good watch this.