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This low renter from Universal Studios plays out like a small time version of "Casablanca." Set in Tangier just after the war it includes Nazis on the run, stolen diamonds, knives to the back, gun-play and of course murder.
The cast is made up of Robert Paige as a down to his last nickel newspaperman. Sabu plays one of the local guides for hire that are always present in these films. Preston Foster plays the local Police Colonel. Maria Montez, Kent Taylor and Louise Allbritton are a trio of dancers at the local American bar while J Edward Bromberg and Reginald Denny fill out the necessary shady types.
Paige is just trying to score a story so he can get back to the States and boy does he ever find one. As he floats through the bar looking for a soft touch, he sees Denny whom he recognizes as a wanted Nazi. He decides to keep a "close" eye on Denny and sits down at Denny's table. Foster soon joins them and asks for everyone's papers. Paige and Foster have a "chat" while Denny is allowed to go to his rooms to get his passport etc.
Foster is less than amused with Paige over his interest in dancer Montez. He is after the same game and lets Paige know it might be rather unhealthy to continue. As this talk is going on Montez and Kent Taylor are burning up the dance floor for the cheering crowd. Taylor starts a solo bit and Montez slips from the stage and into the shadows.
Allbritton, who is done up to look exactly like Montez, replaces her on stage. Montez now beats the feet upstairs to Denny's room. She is in the middle of going through his belongings when Denny shows to get his papers. Montez has just dug a large diamond out of Denny's suitcase. Denny grabs the stone back and a struggle ensues with Denny hitting the floor with a knife in his back. Before Montez can retrieve the diamond, our man Paige enters and sees the body.
Montez bolts from the room while Paige searches the body and finds the diamond. Needless to say the maid now arrives and sees Paige standing over the stiff. Foster and the police are summoned while Paige now does the fleet of foot bit. He hits Montez's room and dumps the diamond just as Foster and the boys grab him.
The Police take Paige to the jail where a sound beating is soon applied. It seems Foster knows all about the stone and he wants it. Turns out he is an ex- Gestapo type who plans to use the stone to finance a life of luxury in South America. Red herrings abound in this one. Montez is really after the man(Foster)who killed her father and brother. Taylor is in love with Montez and will kill for her. Allbritton is in love with Taylor and does kill for him. Bromberg turns out to be an Allied Intelligence officer also looking for Foster. The bodies pile up fast before Foster is finally disposed of in a great death scene. (Allbritton drops him down an elevator shaft)
Not great, but nowhere as bad as I make it sound. The look of the film is quite good with Woody (The Killers) Bredell behind the camera.
The director of this film was George Waggner. Waggner is best known as the director of THE WOLFMAN. The story was by Monty Collins. D of P Bredell also shot PHANTOM LADY, LADY ON A TRAIN, Christmas HOLIDAY, SMOOTH AS SILK, THE FEMALE JUNGLE, THE UNSUSPECTED and of course THE KILLERS.
Robert Paige had bits in THE FLAME, BLONDE ICE and SPLIT SECOND. Allbritton was in WALK A CROOKED MILE. Foster was in INSIDE JOB, STRANGE TRIANGLE, RAMROD, THE HUNTED, I THE JURY, THE BIG NIGHT, K.C. CONFIDENTIAL.
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