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A Nazi spy operating as an optometrist on the San Francisco waterfront discovers that his code book, which also has the names of his fellow Nazi agents and saboteurs, has been stolen. His attempts to track it down before it falls into the hands of the authorities result in a trail of murder and blackmail. Written by
At the beginning of the film Karl Decker, the optometrist, is robbed by the waterfront. Both his code-book and a list of his fellow agents are stolen from him. It is inconceivable that any spy would carry these items about with him in his pockets as he walked the streets. See more »
If you don't pay attention too closely, this is a fairly entertaining film. J. Carrol Naish is fine as the Nazi spymaster. John Carradine just wasn't sinister or psychotic enough to make his character believable, but was better than most of the rest of the cast, though John Bleifer stood out as the slimy, double-dealing blackmailer. I thought it was pretty well directed, too.
I can see why the police arrested the male romantic lead, but if the FBI had really done their job he would have been quickly released, since he had no gun and none was recovered at the scene, had no gunfire residue on his hands (The paraffin test had been mentioned in movies of the 1930s.), and had a legitimate reason for being at the murder scene. Yet he went to trial for the murder. I don't know much about guns, but I recognized the iconic Luger pistol used by the murderer. The FBI identified the murder weapon as a Mauser. A pretty clumsy portrayal of the FBI for this marginally propagandistic spy drama.
I watched a copy downloaded from The Internet Archive. The print from which the file was made had seen better days.
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