Broadway gambler Gloves Donahue wants to find who killed the baker of his favorite cheesecake. He sees nightclub singer Leda Hamilton leaving the bakery. When her boss Marty's partner Joe is murdered, Leda and her accompanist Pepi disappear. It turns out that beneath all the mystery is a gang of Nazi operatives planning to blow up a battleship in New York harbor. Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Actually, this movie is better than most, with a good deal of the credit going to the myriad cast of star-quality actors. I suspect it was part of the Hollywood WWII propaganda stable but the story still resonates today and, just maybe, provides a cautionary tale as well.
Interesting seeing a young and slim Jackie Gleason (billed as Jackie C. Gleason) and noting this was just one of seven movies he was in in 1942! Bogart had perfected his small-town crook role by the time this movie came out. He unwittingly gets involved in a Nazi spy ring and it all begins with his love of a cheesecake made by an old man who is found murdered. The chase for the killer(s) is on...
You cannot watch this movie without smiling at the antics of Frank McHugh, the character actor who endeared himself to many during the 30s and 40s.
Conrad Veidt is phenomenally evil as the Nazi spy and it's important to remember this man actually fled from Germany to reside in England and America, giving all of his monies and salaries to the British Government to fight the Nazi menace. He is always good in the Nazi genre but it surely must have galled him to play these roles on so many occasions when he despised the very people he portrayed. His interaction with the imperious Judith Anderson (later, Dame Judith Anderson) is actually a la film noir at its best.
Excellent cast brings this movie up a notch from the formulaic movies during WWII and this one is well worth watching.
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