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Criminals Within (1941)

 |  Crime, War  |  27 June 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 35 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 3 critic

A scientist is murdered by foreign agents after having developed a powerful new explosive. The scientist's brother, an army corporal, goes AWOL to discover the identities of the killers. ... See full summary »


(as Joseph Lewis)


(screenplay), (story)
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Complete credited cast:
Sgt. Paul, the Traitor
Lt. John Harmon
Constance Worth ...
Alma Barton


A scientist is murdered by foreign agents after having developed a powerful new explosive. The scientist's brother, an army corporal, goes AWOL to discover the identities of the killers. Army intelligence officers are looking for him, as they believe he has a list of scientists who helped his brother develop the new weapon, putting them in danger. The spy ring is also after him, but they want the list for a different reason. Written by

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A MYSTERY KILLER STRIKES... and a beautiful blonde pays the penalty for knowing too much... Was she a modern Mata Hari?


Crime | War





Release Date:

27 June 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Army Mystery  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Made in 1941, not released until 1943. See more »

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User Reviews

Low Budget, But Stylish
6 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The plot development of this film is very serviceable -- everything is laid out a half reel to a reel before you need to remember who said what -- and there are no cheats, no "bzzz-bzzz" whispered bits to cover plot holes. It all develops very naturally, with a rather outstanding cast of character actors livening up the proceedings.

Ben Alexander is one of my favourite gentle actors, and he wowed me here. Dudley Dickerson and Bernice Pilot are enjoyable as comedic servants with a central role in moving the plot forward on several occasions. I. Standofrd Jolley is at his handsomest and most sinister -- a great non-Western role for this versatile villain. Ann Doran is nice too. Oh, and Boyd Irwin is so British as an American colonel -- quite splendid -- and kudos too to the prolific Robert Frazier, always good looking in uniform, and an intriguing actor.

The print i saw was remarkably clear and crisp, with good sound quality, something worth mentioning in a PRC picture. The end of the film comes very suddenly -- one wonders if some footage is missing -- and there is no musical score to heighten the drama of some otherwise very tense scenes. In fact, i think that had this film been scored, film critics who like Joseph Lewis' "Gun Crazy" (and who doesn't?) would compare this movie much more favourably to that film noir cult classic than they have. The scenes in which people move from room to room, doors locking and opening behind them, menace just out of sight, are exemplary film-making, but seem dulled a bit due to the complete lack of a score.

Well, i may be in the minority, but i liked this film a lot. I wonder why it was held two years, lacks a proper ending (by which i mean the extra two to three minutes of wrap-up dialogue one would expect), and was released with no score.... Something odd about that. Anyway, It is well worth a look.

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