6.8/10
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The House on 92nd Street (1945)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 16 October 1945 (France)
Bill Dietrich becomes a double agent for the F.B.I. in a Nazi spy ring.

Director:

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(screenplay) (as Barre Lyndon), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Bill Dietrich
... Inspector George A. Briggs
... Elsa Gebhardt
... Charles Ogden Roper
... Col. Hammersohn
Lydia St. Clair ... Johanna Schmidt
... Walker (as William Post)
... Max Coburg
Bruno Wick ... Adolf Lange
Harro Meller ... Conrad Arnulf
Charles Wagenheim ... Gustav Hausmann
Alfred Linder ... Adolf Klein
Renee Carson ... Luise Vajda
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Storyline

Preface: a stentorian narrator tells us that the USA was flooded with Nazi spies in 1939-41. One such tries to recruit college grad Bill Dietrich, who becomes a double agent for the FBI. While Bill trains in Hamburg, a street-accident victim proves to have been spying on atom-bomb secrets; conveniently, Dietrich is assigned to the New York spy ring stealing these secrets. Can he track down the mysterious "Christopher" before his ruthless associates unmask and kill him? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A terror more deadly than murder! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

16 October 1945 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Now It Can Be Told  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(archive footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the bit roles in this film were played by real F.B.I. Agents, and this was their only film. See more »

Goofs

When the agents are preparing to do the first survey of the house they are wearing CD (Civil Defense) arm bands on their right arms. The next scene shows them approaching the house and the arm bands are now on their left arms. See more »

Quotes

Bill Dietrich: How do I get in touch with Christopher?
Col. Hammersohn: Why?
Bill Dietrich: Well, he's my boss. I've never even met him.
Col. Hammersohn: Well, he's my boss too,
Bill Dietrich: Yeah?
Col. Hammersohn: I haven't met him either.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown as someone flipping through the pages of a file. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 23 Paces to Baker Street (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

Tra-La-La-La
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music at the talent agent's office
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User Reviews

 
Viewed as a period piece, semi-documentary about Nazi espionage still holds interest
17 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

This is the story of how the FBI supposedly cracked a Nazi espionage ring on the trail of Manhattan Project (the A-Bomb) in the early years of World War II. As a movie, its chief significance is that it kicked off a spate of semi-documentary movies paying tribute to one or another of the U.S. government's law enforcement agencies and celebrating Our Tax Dollars at Work. Such films became a staple of the noir cycle; a few of them even achieved distinction (T-Men, for instance).

William Eythe, a young American, is recruited by and trained in Germany to be a spy; in fact he works as a double agent for the FBI. The film, shot largely on location, traces the actions of the nest of vipers on New York's upper east side. Their unofficial master seems to be Signe Hasso, under cover of running a chic dress boutique. Her opposite number, who runs Eythe, is Lloyd Nolan (who was to reprise his role as Inspector Briggs in subsequent films).

The film's period flavor keeps it from seeming too dated, because the spying looks quite primitive to audiences spoiled by James Bond gimmickry and later, even more sophisticated, espionage thrillers. And, from a modern perspective, the smug boastfulness about the Bureau's -- and America's -- infallibility becomes a bit hard to swallow. There's little texture or nuance in the film, but, as a quasi-historical document, it exerts its own fascination.


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