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Sam Gallagher (Pat O'Brien), a former foreign correspondent and now a United States Government agent, gets a job through his brother Jeff (Chester Morris), whom he has not seen in seven years, in the Seaboard Shipyards as a "pileback" in order to track down a gang of Nazi spies who are plotting to sabotage the shipyards. Jill McCann (Carole Landis),an FBI agent, poses as Sam's wife, and two children, 6-year-old Paul (Richard Lyon), and 4-year-old-Joan (Carol Nugent),complete his "cover family." THe set-up looks fishy to Jeff, and he imparts his suspicions to Lea Damoran (Ruth Warrick, the girl both brothers had courted in the old days. Meanwhile, Sam works hard and makes friends with most of the men in his crew. He gets a line on the saboteurs and one by one, their identities are revealed to him. The Nazis, led by Brownell (Tom Tully)who, in reality, is Colonel Von Braun of the German Gestapo, plan to blow up the yard while an aircraft carrier is docked there. Jeff's noisy ...Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
World War II spy thriller, taking place in a ship-building plant, with Pat OBrien, who made a whole lotta movies, mostly war times. Carol Landis, who made a good number of movies, but committed suicide at an early age, shortly after making, ironically, "The Noose". Secret Command was nominated for an Oscar, but was up against "30 seconds over Tokyo" (S Tracy, V Johnson,R Mitchum), so of course, it didn't have a chance. I thought the suspense-full high crane scenes were actually pretty good, considering when this was made, in spite of the liberal use of back-mats throughout the film. The sound also cuts out several times, and I wondered if it was dialogue editing, poor recording quality, or the fault of my local cable company. (was shown on Turner Classic Movies in June 2007). see my entry in message boards for this film for additional observations and shortcomings in the script.
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