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In 1917 Lt. Bill Gordon is headed for France when he meets and becomes friendly with Joel Carter, niece of the Asst. Secretary of War. Finding out that he is an expert on codes, she gets her uncle to cancel Bill's orders and has him reassigned to break enemy codes. In his new assignment he becomes involved with beautiful Russian spy Olivia Karloff, who is working for the Germans, and must juggle Joel's affection and his pursuit of Karloff's connections to retrieve a stolen code book. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you like William Powell enough (or another actor in this film) and its venue, you may flow with it. It is a weaker one to my view, and while not a throwaway, not really picked up by anyone in particular. The character Russell played was incongruous and annoying, though she was probably refreshing as a newcomer. There's a bit too much overdone flip and horsiness about her performance here and in a lot of her pictures, to my taste. Likely, it's a script flaw, but given the level of weight of the decoding project at hand, her stunts are incongruous at best. The fact that she had such easy access is also unbelievable, despite her connections by relation. Also, she doesn't really work with Powell's character. After about her third shenanigan, I think, that's it for her. He'll move on. But he trots right along and they end up together. What? That a man of his caliber would hook up with a loose cannon like that just really doesn't work. And they aren't believable together. Binnie Barnes' character, though the villainess, was easier to take down, being consistent and well enough done. This essentially war picture has its interest, but I can't say after one more run through, I would care to repeat. But I do hang onto my classics and after some time, enjoy going back for just the era and actors. One can always ogle the clothes if nothing else.
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