Confidential Agent, inspired by a book by Graham Greene, was released in November of 1945, only two months after World War II ended with the signing of the surrender treaty with Japan. It stars Charles Boyer and a still very young Lauren Bacall in her third feature performance. It tells the story of a concert pianist from Spain (Boyer) who takes a stance against the Fascist government of Francisco Franco and becomes a Republican agent. He secretly sets out for England in the effort to meet the head of a firm with whom he hopes to corner the coal market, and deprive Franco's forces from this vital energy resource. He meets Lauren Bacall along the way, the disillusioned daughter of the very man he is looking to meet. Along the way, he runs into problems: attacks, abduction, murder, and ultimately failure. But then, maybe it was not entirely a failure?
Unfortunately, it did not receive entirely positive reviews, and Ms. Bacall was subjected to some notably harsh criticism of her performance. Some contend that Confidential Agent caused damage to her esteem as an actor as well, from which she never recovered. And the film was generally regarded as overly long and sprawling. One unlikely defender of the film was Graham Greene himself. Famously unforgiving of most film adaptations of his novels, Greene claimed that director Herman Shumlin did justice to his original novel and that Bacall gave an admiral performance.