After witnessing an incident on a foreign ship off California coast, a U.S. Treasury agent aboard a Coast Guard vessel decides to further investigate the matter by following a crime trail leading to China, Egypt, Lebanon and Cuba.
Based on the files of the United States Department of Treasury. Commissioner Michael Barrows is an American Government Agent. On board a Coast Gaurd boat off the California coast he chases a ship. The Captain of the ship, the Kira Maru, panics and ruthlessly sends 100 Chinese slaves to a watery death. Barrows recovers a live preserver that tells him the ship is out of Shanghai. He travels there to track down the ship's captain and discovers that these deaths point to a huge drug smuggling operation. In Shanghai, while searching for the captain of the Kira Maru, he becomes suspicious of a women, Ann Grant, believing she's Jean Hawks the narcotics ringleader. He follows the narcotics trail "to the ends of the Earth" taking him from Shanghai to Cairo, Beirut and Havana to stop the drugs and the jean Hawks ring at the US border.Written by
This is necessarily a story of violence, intrigue...and death. If portions of it shock you, remember it is based on actual incidents from hitherto secret files of the U.S. Treasury and its Bureaus of Narcotics, Customs and Coast Guard.
Hollywood's Production Code is revised and paves the way for Popeye Doyle.
This was a combination documentary/fictional melodrama "based on actual incidents from the files of the Narcotics Division of the United States Treasury Department" for the "purpose of setting forth the functions and procedures of the Division" headed by Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger, who appears as himself in the opening, middle and end of the film. One of the "thou-shalt-nots" that was part of the Production Code list that had to be adhered to before a film could be issued an approval number---in this case PCA No. 12390---was an edict against showing any kind of illegal drug trafficking. The producers fought for and acquired a revision in the Code for this film.
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