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This film, issued in 1946, may have had some last minute plot changes made to it, as I suspect it was written and planned before the War actually ended. There is still a ring of Nazi agents at work in this film, but the War is now over and the Nazis have become an international organisation trying to steal the secrets of the atomic bomb and sell them to other hostile powers or organisations. (This is not unlike the scare stories still prominent in today's newspapers on a weekly basis, though the villains who threaten to destroy us all are constantly changing, it seems.) 'The Irish Free State' is still a bogey in the film, where the Nazis feel very much at home, which shows how embittered the British were at the so-called 'neutrality' of Ireland during the War. Hence the many trips on the night boat to Ireland which occur in this story. Unlike real ferry journeys across the Irish Sea, which can be horribly rough crossings, all of these take place on a flat sea without any waves. Funny that! Robert Newton in a slouch hat is the lead player, and the look of whimsy on his face is not always appropriate for moments of high tension. Wilfred Hyde Whyte has a few seconds on screen as an eccentric taxi driver. Herbert Lom has a few scenes as one of the Nazis, as does Marius Goring. The issue of this film on DVD is a pleasure to watch, because it has been taken from a perfectly preserved negative, rather than some battered old print, and the images are as crisp as the day they were made. Many of the period aspects of this film are amusing and interesting to watch, especially those featuring trains and railyards. The manners of the time never cease to be fascinating, and even the Nazis are polite as they stick a gun in your side and say they deeply regret that they will have to kill you. Brenda Bruce has a scene as a shrieking harridan who wants to go out and have a good time and nobody is going to stop her, especially not her older husband, Leslie Dwyer, a steward who has been paid for doing some favours for the Nazis on board the Irish ferry because she taunted him for never having any money. Lawrence Huntington directed this film, and it is good for a rainy afternoon.
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