"The Thief" (1952) is a good-looking film noir, in which not a word is spoken; there's no femme fatale, and there are no triangles. But there is a ton of alienation, dark doings and dark photography. Ray Milland is spying for Russia and getting atomic secrets, but he's a reluctant spy. We infer that he has been blackmailed into the job, or else found out that being in the Party is no party. His life could not be more drab and restricted. He can't even respond to the alluring Rita Gam.
The casting and unflattering photography of Martin Gabel is one example of how the spies come across as shifty weasels in this film, matched only by the FBI agents who follow them around after getting a lucky break. Milland looks positively sympathetic next to them all, somehow drawing upon "The Lost Weekend".
Milland smokes a lot and drinks only now and then; but he seems quite tormented by his spying. If you are going to be a spy who steals secrets, especially a traitor, you'd better like or love the new authority to whom you are pledging allegiance, because it's a nerve-wracking and lonely occupation, and your life is in the hands of others in the network. At least, that's the moral of the story.
This film has very good location photography in Washington and New York City. There is an outstanding and exciting chase sequence filmed on the upper reaches of the Empire State Building that rivals or betters anything by Hitchcock.
For a movie without dialog, this goes by quite well. In only one sequence did I feel that the story was on the slow side or repeating itself. Most movies have too much dialog anyway.