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.
Drifting floozy Billie Nash gets a bar job where she seduces the owner's husband by convincing him to defraud his drunkard wife in order to elope together to Mexico but a sleazy neighbor with designs on Billie jeopardizes her plans.
Merle Kramer works as a stenographer for a psychiatrist. She is casually dating Karl Benson, a private eye and former cop. Merle mentions in passing that one of her boss's patients is an author with recurring dreams of murdering his wife, and she includes the fact that the wife owns valuable jewels. When the wife is found murdered in a manner identical to that of her husband's dream, the husband is naturally the prime suspect. But as the investigation of the police and insurance investigator Joe Cooper proceeds, it turns out that several people in the case, including Merle, are not what they seem.Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Considering the cast and story, it's unfortunate that director Lewis Foster could not end up with a real film noir. Dan Duryea is up to par playing a sleazy double-crosser but Sterling Hayden is wasted as an insurance investigator who spends most of his time standing around or tagging along with the cops. The always reliable Alan Napier is a highlight of the film playing the stoic, self-righteous jilted husband.
The attempts at humor along the way relegate the film to the realm of a 1930's murder mystery, not a serious noir. There certainly was a lost opportunity for something better. Nevertheless, any film with Duryea and Hayden is worth a watch.
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