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There is a problem with foreign nationals using Cuba as a convenient jumping off point for illegal entry into the United States. So U.S. Immigration Service Agent Peter Karczag (John Hodiak) is sent to Havana posing as a Hungarian frustrated with the legal immigration process and open to an alternative. By this means he uncovers the human smuggling ring run by Palinov (George Macready). He also meets concentration-camp refugee Marianne Lorress (Hedy Lamarr), a Viennese working in a nightclub and one who has paid to be smuggled into the United States. When Karczag falls in love with her, he becomes conflicted, not wanting her to be among those he plans to have captured in his operation. So he tries to persuade her to stay in Cuba instead of being secretly flown to the United States. Will he succeed? What if his cover is blown? Written by
Fred Edwords <FEdwords@Gmail.com>
The tail number of James' dummy plane, NC54860, was an actual number assigned to a North American AT-6B owned by MGM at the time. The actual smuggling plane, marked NC80356, was in reality used on a 1946 Beech D-18S bought by MGM for use by Robert Taylor and his wife Barbara Stanwyck. Taylor named that plane "Missy" - his nickname for Stanwyck. See more »
The slow, tight circling of the plane crash site from the naval pilot's point of view would be impossible in his light aircraft. It was obviously filmed from a helicopter. See more »
By the time of "Lady Without a Passport," Hedy Lamarr had seen better days. Of course, having seen better days for Hedy Lamarr would be any other beautiful woman's ultimate moment. She was one of the great film beauties. She never was one of the great film actresses, however, although she's pretty good in this post-war film about immigrants trying to get into the U.S. illegally with the help of the always oily George Macready. Immigration operative John Hodiak is sent to Havana, where he poses as a Hungarian trying to get into the states. He falls in love with Lamarr along the way.
John Hodiak, who facially has always reminded me of Martin Landau, does a very good job. There is some magnificent Havana scenery to behold. For me the film bogs down in the protracted ending as everyone is tracing a plane, but picks up again in scenes filmed in the Florida everglades.
The movie is black and white and very atmospheric.
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