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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 »
1944's "Waterfront" is a reasonable example of a Poverty Row spy picture, this one from PRC rather than Republic or Monogram. None could be considered classics of course, generally set in the US and inexpensively confined to just a few tiny sets. What makes these stand out at all isn't the script but the actors involved, in this case John Carradine and J. Carrol Naish, both undercover Nazi agents working the San Francisco waterfront. Naish's Dr. Carl Decker is an optometrist in possession of a code book that can decipher the secret instructions for Carradine's Victor Marlow, newly arrived and impatient to get started. The film opens with the code book being stolen, and by the time it's over all the bad guys are captured or dead (no one comes off very smart). Just a few months before the iconic PRC "Bluebeard," Carradine relishes his villainy, playing his final Nazi role, while Naish provides good support, as do Edwin Maxwell and John Bleifer, veteran performers all. Actress Maris Wrixon previously worked with Boris Karloff in both Warners' "British Intelligence" and Monogram's "The Ape," and reunited with Carradine in Monogram's "The Face of Marble."
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