Book thief/forger sells a fake book to a Nazi through a female agent. A detective tries to uncover who the forger is and gets in the middle of a three way struggle for rare books and revenge in a public library.
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Jim Fleg (George Sanders), a ruthless, egotistical criminal, steals a priceless Shakespeare folio from the public library, killing a guard during the crime. With his partner, Myra Blandy (Gail Patrick), Fleg forges and sells copies of the folio to unscrupulous collectors. Hal McByrne (Richard Denning), a tough, unrelenting detective traces several of the forgeries back to Myra. She and Fled plot to eliminate McBryne at the scene of the original crime---the public library. In the meantime, a buyer of one of the forgeries is demanding his money back--or else---and trails Myra and Fleg to the library. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Another reviewer suggested a better, more realistic ending (but one that would've been acceptable in 1942, when good had to triumph over evil at the movies). So I can see how some might prefer a more postmodern version.
But I think the clichés of this film are good campy fun. It's been a very long time since I found a movie this good that I've never seen before. So I see it as a superb relic to be treasured.
It's a charming film noir crime caper, stagy and clumsy at times, but with a very smooth George Sanders as the rather mild villain, and surprisingly smart banter throughout. It has a good formulaic story that doggedly ties up all loose ends into a neat package. It moves very quickly for its age, and is pretty easy to follow, despite the plot being somewhat complex.
I'm very excited to have stumbled across it.
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