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Devil's Plot (1948)

Counterblast (original title)

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An escaped World War 2 Nazi doctor, impersonates a murdered English doctor so he can work on a vaccination to protect the Germans in their planned germ warfare.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mervyn Johns ...
Nova Pilbeam ...
Tracy Hart
Margaretta Scott ...
Sister 'Johnnie' Johnson
Sybille Binder ...
Martha Lert, Bruckner Nazi Houskeeper
Marie Lohr ...
Mrs. Coles, Richard's Old Friend
Karel Stepanek ...
Prof. Inman, Nazi Psychiatrist
Alan Wheatley ...
M.W. Kennedy, Nazi Dentist
Gladys Henson ...
John Salew ...
Padre Latham
Anthony Eustrel ...
Dr. Richard Forrester
Carl Jaffe ...
Heinz
Ronald Adam ...
Col Ingram, Gillington POW Camp Commandant
Martin Miller ...
Van Hessian, Dutch Seaman
Aubrey Mallalieu ...
Maj. Walsh
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Storyline

This film was not known as "Devil's Plot" until 1953, when distributor Herbert Bregstein acquired the USA theatre rights and changed the title from "Counterblast" to "Devil's Plot." The reason for the title change was to disguise the fact that this was the same movie that had already been sold to television,and was currently playing on British and American television as "Counterblast." A more apt changed title would have been "Cheater's Plot," since the title change was an obvious ploy to keep the theatre exhibitors and public from knowing this film could be seen for free at home. The story has Mervyn Johns as a Nazi doctor and escaped prisoner-of-war who goes to London. There, via the Nazi underground, he poses as an Australian bacteriologist, whom he has killed and taken his place, assigned to do some medical research. His plot is, using British labs and knowledge, to find a method of immunizing the German people against a plague the Nazis are going to use in their next war. ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

14 June 1948 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Devil's Plot  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Nova Pilbeam a little older
4 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I first became aware of Nova Pilbeam in Hitchcock's "Young & Innocent" with Derrick de Marnay and in "The Man Who Knew Too Much" with Peter Lorre, both filmed in the 30s.Intrigued by her performance in these two films, I sought out this film from 1948.She is older by say 10 years or so and more mature but still attractive and adroitly plays the heroine as in the afore stated films.The other reviewers have covered the basic plot, so I will not risk giving out "spoilers" but confine myself to a few chosen words.Canadian Robert Beatty effectively plays the handsome hero while Nova shows misplaced loyalty to her boss.I noticed Alan Wheatley in the cast as a Nazi dentist (did he ever play a sympathetic role?).I first became aware of him playing the Sheriff of Nottingham in the 1950s ITV children's TV series of "Robin Hood" starring Richard Greene.

My copy was a little bit muddy which I put down to the age of the original print but sound quality was fine.Another cameo of the nursing sister was played by Margareta Scott.She never seemed to get to play the lead.I saw Margareta in two Margaret Lockwood films playing supporting roles: "Girl in the News (1940) and "Quiet Wedding" (1941).

Mervyn Johns of course played the lead role as the bacterial scientist and I agree with a previous reviewer, he played a sort of latter day anti-hero.I also agree that much more tension could have been injected into the plot by the director Stein but of course Hitchcock was firmly established in Hollywood at the time.The result is a slightly above average thriller and I therefore rated it 6/10.


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