The Counterfeit Traitor
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGeorge Seaton
Written byCharles Grenzbach
George Seaton
Based onThe Counterfeit Traitor
by Alexander Klein
Produced byGeorge Seaton
William Perlberg
StarringWilliam Holden
Lilli Palmer
Hugh Griffith
Carl Raddatz
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • April 17, 1962 (1962-04-17)
Running time
140 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2.7 million (US/Canada)[1]

The Counterfeit Traitor is a 1962 espionage thriller film starring William Holden, Hugh Griffith, and Lilli Palmer. Holden plays an American-born Swedish citizen who is forced to spy on the Nazis in World War II. It was based on a nonfiction book of the same name by Alexander Klein. The film was directed by George Seaton.[2]



Erickson (Holden) is an American-born Swedish oil man who is pressured by Allied intelligence agents, led by a British agent (Griffith), to spy for the Allies. Erickson begins his job reluctantly, as it causes marital discord and forces him to pose as a Nazi. He agrees because otherwise his business would be destroyed by the Allies, but over time, realizes it is the right thing to do. Besides, Griffith recorded the meeting,

He is influenced in making this moral decision by one of his contacts in Germany, a religious woman (Lilli Palmer) who gives him guidance on the meaning of life and right and wrong. Erickson has a number of close calls, but eventually escapes to Sweden in a harrowing sea voyage.



See also



  1. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1962". Variety. 9 Jan 1963. p. 13. Please note these are rentals and not gross figures
  2. ^ a b "Alexander Klein, 83; Wrote Spy Thriller (obituary)". New York Times. August 24, 2002. Retrieved 2007-11-16.