A mysterious rash of cargo ship sinkings in Panama leads insurers Llewellyns of London to hire vacationer Nick Carter and his eccentric associate Bartholomew to investigate. Nick recognizes influential nightclub owner Al Taurez as a shady operator, but getting the goods on him depends on slick diversions involving the heavyweight champ of the Pacific Tuna Fleet, a Panamanian bombshell armed with American slang, a young couple in love and a whole raft of crooks and cutthroats. Written by
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The other two entries in the Nick Carter detective series focused on spies or Fifth Columnists; this one is about an evil insurance scam whereby cargo ships, with their crews, are blown up. Llewelyn's of London, the insurer of the ships, hires Carter to investigate. Joseph Schildkraut as the suave but vicious gangster leader behind the bombings easily outshines the rather uninspiring performance of Walter Pidgeon as Nick Carter. The most striking scene in the whole movie is the brief scene showing the crew of the cargo ship amiably chatting with one another moments before their ship is blown up. An incredible scene. As with the other two entries in the series, this one has an excellent supporting cast with Florence Rice, John Carroll, Nat Pendleton, Cecil Kellaway, and Schildkraut. Donald Meek is on hand as Carter's sidekick, the wacky Mr. Bartholomew. It's a matter of taste whether one finds the Bartholomew character annoying or welcome comedic relief. Either way, he certainly is a memorable character. I think this is the best of the Nick Carter movies and certainly worth a watch, but the series itself is not as good or entertaining as many another B detective series.
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