Attempts to turn its jingoistic scenario into a suspense drama...and nearly succeeds!
Dana Andrews is quite congenial playing a former Army Captain, returning to Washington, D.C. after being held two years in a Chinese prison camp, discovering that the public relations firm he and his business partner founded has been sold to a reprehensible lout who peddles in prejudice and poison. Plainly-drawn, low-budget melodrama with then-topical undercurrents of Communism and anti-semitism does have an interesting group of characters, but it could stand a bit of levity to lighten its load. There's an early scene in a plane with Andrews and a talkative scientist that is never fully explained, and the one main female character (a secretary played by the curious Marilee Earle) is disheartening--she's there to lend a hand and feign a romance, yet the role itself is an unsurprising cliché. Director Jacques Tourneur is crafty at times, but mostly heavy-handed; he sets up a heated finale, but then muffs it with square-jawed heroics and patriotic gestures. More mystery and gloss was required. **1/2 from ****
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