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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 »
Despite coming from the craptastic studio PRC, this propaganda film is quite watchable.
Whenever I see that a film has been made by PRC, I assume the worst. After all, of the so-called 'Poverty Row' production companies, PRC was one of the poorest in overall quality. Quite simply, most of their films were hastily written and had very low production values---and it showed. However, here they have a film, while not great, is still quite enjoyable. I think it's because it was nice to see to fun old hammy B-movie stars in the same film--John Carradine and J. Carrol Naish. These men, along with the likes of George Zucco and Lionel Atwill made a huge number of Bs--and they thrived in this sort of low-brow but highly entertaining fare.
The film is clearly a propaganda film and it's about a spy ring run by an optometrist (Naish). He manages to have his secret code book stolen (oops) but not by the US government--but in order to help one of the people that Naish is blackmailing into helping him. Oddly, Naish simply doesn't seem terribly concerned about this (a shortcoming in the film, actually) but when another Nazi comes to help him (Carradine), things heat up, as Carradine's solution to EVERYTHING is to shoot people! Subtle, he ain't! Eventually, Carradine's rash ways are the undoing of these rather stupid spies.
While the film was highly entertaining and fun, the FBI lab guys incorrectly identified Carradine's murder weapon as a Mauser. The gun clearly was a Luger--as Mausers were newer guns and less available in the US (if at all). I'm no expert, but am positive of this--so why didn't the FBI guys get this right?!
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