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Preface: a stentorian narrator tells us that the USA was flooded with Nazi spies in 1939-41. One such tries to recruit college grad Bill Dietrich, who becomes a double agent for the FBI. While Bill trains in Hamburg, a street-accident victim proves to have been spying on atom-bomb secrets; conveniently, Dietrich is assigned to the New York spy ring stealing these secrets. Can he track down the mysterious "Christopher" before his ruthless associates unmask and kill him? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
The scene near the beginning of the film where a man is killed by a car is based on a real-life incident. He was identified as Julio Lopez Lido but was in actuality Capt. Ulrich von der Osten, a Nazi army officer in the Abwehr (German military intelligence). He was struck and killed by a cab on March 18, 1941, and his body went unclaimed for a time. The man who ran from the scene was actually Kurt Frederick Ludwig, known as Joseph K, a German agent who was eventually caught and sentenced to Alcatraz Prison. He was deported in 1953. The cab driver who hit von der Osten was a man named Sam Lichtman. See more »
When the agents are preparing to do the first survey of the house they are wearing CD (Civil Defense) arm bands on their right arms. The next scene shows them approaching the house and the arm bands are now on their left arms. See more »
The Germans felt that Dietrich was an extremely valuable man... so did the FBI.
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Opening credits are shown as someone flipping through the pages of a file. See more »
Still chilling espionage thriller with gritty documentary approach...
Highly popular during the mid-'40s was this thriller that resembles other spy dramas produced by Fox during this era--most notably, films like 13 RUE MADELEINE or BOOMERANG! which also used a documentary style. The location footage in New York City is fascinating as a time capsule and the story gets strong support from the excellent B&W photography.
Standout in the cast is Signe Hasso in a plum role as a woman running a dress shop as a front for espionage activities. She shows toughness and determination all the way through and is completely convincing in the female lead. William Eythe does a nice job as the agent sent by the FBI to expose the spy ring. In fact, all of the performances are first rate and the suspense is maintained until the surprise climax.
Well worth watching as an example of tight, suspenseful and gritty film noir in a style typical of the hard bitten dramas of the '40s.
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