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A former Spanish Civil War prisoner, John McKittrick arrives in New York to find the truth behind the death of his friend Louie Lepetino. He finds himself being chased by Nazi agents who want an item he has brought back from Spain and cannot give up. When another of his friends is murdered, McKittrick realizes that he cannot trust anyone around him - not anyone. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
The Bust which is knocked through the window and crashes out on the street appears in it's original position in the next shot. See more »
John 'Kit' McKittrick:
[Thinking, not speaking out loud]
John 'Kit' McKittrick:
All right. Go on. Let's have it. Can you go through with it? Have you got the guts for it? Or have they knocked it out of you? Have they made you yellow?
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Opening credits: "...in a world at war many sparrows must fall ... See more »
Lushly mounted espionage thriller that rivets the eye even when the narrative meanders. It's the great RKO artistic team of Musuraca, Silvera, and D'Agostino setting the stage for noir's post-war golden period, foreshadowed here by the rich b&w landscape. Garfield's a shattered veteran of the Spanish Civil War, tortured by the fascists and a mysterious limping man. Now he's back in New York trying to regain stability and find out who killed his best friend. Along the way, he meets up with sinister European types and the beauteous O'Hara looking like she stepped off a 1942 Vogue cover. Turns out everybody, including the limping man, is trying to get possession of a regimental battle standard whose whereabouts only Garfield knows. Needless to say, at times the storyline could use a road map to follow. But that's okay because the appeal lies elsewhere, as in the shadowy characters and photography.
Note how effectively Garfield's moments of derangement are highlighted by the musical score and the astute close-ups. Those penetrating few moments are hauntingly expressed as they reach into Kit's (Garfield) tortured "subjective" reality. The actor delivers in spades in a difficult role requiring that he be in about every scene. The movie's also an eye-full for the guys with three knockout leading ladies. However, despite her looks, I think the normally vivacious O'Hara is miscast, a little too stiff and impassive for the subtleties required by her character. On a different note, the limping man's dragging foot adds a creepy sound to the sinister atmosphere and is what I remember most from seeing the film as a kid. Anyway, the movie's an unusual thriller with a really great "look" that stands up well over the decades.
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