A long forgotten, rarely seen Columbia programmer was another Nazi role for John Carradine during the busy WW2 years, and while he gets top billing as the main villain the picture focuses on the hero played by Larry Parks, who parachutes into enemy territory to link up with the Allied underground. Jonathan Hale appears as the imprisoned King while other small roles feature familiar faces such as Charles Wagenheim and Trevor Bardette, with Osa Massen doing the female lead. The first of Carradine's Axis villains was Mr. Jones, the furtive stalker lurking in the shadows waiting to pounce on Walter Pidgeon in the excellent "Man Hunt" (1941). Perhaps his best was "Hitler's Madman" (1943) in which Carradine's Reinhardt Heydrich repudiates Hitler from his deathbed to superior Howard Freeman. "Reunion in France"(1942) was a vanity showcase for Joan Crawford, who aids a downed American flier played by John Wayne. A very low budget Monogram programmer in 1943 called "No Escape" (aka "I Escaped form the Gestapo") took place entirely in an amusement park run by Carradine, menacing Dean Jagger and Mary Brian (with a cameo from Spanky McFarland.) Another Poverty Row effort came from PRC, "Waterfront" (1944), with Carradine's Victor Marlow matching wits with his treacherous fellow Nazi agent J. Carrol Naish as they both attempt to recover a lost codebook (this was the final Nazi role of his career). On the horror side,let's not forget his star turn in 1943's "Revenge of the Zombies," in which he gave a strangely low-key performance as Dr. Max Von Altermann, who spends his time in the bayou swamps of Louisiana breeding zombies for the Axis cause. "The Black Parachute" is strictly routine, somewhat plodding, but at least JC doesn't get killed at the end.
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