Nazi spies use a stolen shortwave transmitter prototype to broadcast top secret shipping info to an offshore Japanese sub. To nab the spy ring, the Government has the West Coast's top radio... See full summary »
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William A. Seiter,
Edward G. Robinson,
Nazi spies use a stolen shortwave transmitter prototype to broadcast top secret shipping info to an offshore Japanese sub. To nab the spy ring, the Government has the West Coast's top radio engineers fired and shadowed to see if the Nazis recruit them to complete work on the prototype radio. Radio engineer Lew Deerhold, a resident alien without a job to pay for his adorable little ward Gina's life-saving operation, falls prey to the spy ring, and is swept up in a maelstrom of deceit and danger. Written by
Sister Grimm <email@example.com>
The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
When the bombers are scrambled, we see a squadron of single seat P-40s taking off. When the submarine is attacked, there are at least two crew in the aircraft. See more »
Once this wartime B-feature gets going, it's not bad, and it builds up enough suspense and intrigue to help you look past the low production values. Richard Arlen and Wendy Barrie also contribute with solid performances in the two leading roles. For movies of the era and genre, it is a little less strident than most in its attacks on Axis nationalities, giving somewhat more emphasis to the personal plight of the main character (Arlen).
Arlen plays a radio engineer who, not being a US citizen, finds himself out of work when the FBI orders his employer to let him go. While Axis spies try to dupe him into helping them with a special transmitter that they are using to target Allied tankers, the G-Men are still keeping their own tabs on him. Barrie comes into the story as something of a wild card.
The script takes somewhat too long to set things up, and it adds some characters that are never used for anything of importance, so that it takes a while to start making any real progress. But after that, it works all right, as Arlen's character finds himself in one fix after another. By portraying the federal agents as rather heartless and unimaginative, the movie's tone becomes somewhat darker than what you might normally expect from a picture whose general aim is to promote the Allied cause.
Though there's nothing new or particularly impressive about "Submarine Alert", there's probably enough to make it worth seeing for those who have an interest in the era and genre.
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