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State Department: File 649 (1949)

U.S. Foreign Service officer matches wits with a Chinese warlord to try to save American citizens threatened with execution.

Director:

Sam Newfield (as Peter Stewart)

Writers:

Milton Raison (original story), Milton Raison (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Lundigan ... Ken Seely
Virginia Bruce ... Marge Walden
Jonathan Hale ... Director-General
Frank Ferguson ... Consul Reither
Richard Loo ... Marshal Yun Usu
Philip Ahn ... Col. Aram
Raymond Bond Raymond Bond ... Consul Brown
Milton Kibbee ... Bill Sneed
Victor Sen Yung ... Johnny Han
Lora Lee Michel ... Jessica
John Holland ... Ballinger
Harlan Warde ... Rev. Morse
Carole Donne Carole Donne ... Mrs. Morse
Barbara Wooddell Barbara Wooddell ... Carrie (as Barbara Woodell)
Robert Stevenson ... Mongolian Spy (as Robert Stephenson)
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Storyline

Kenneth Seeley, member of the U. S. State Department's Foreign Service Bureau, and Marge Weldon, a morale worker with the bureau, are assigned to an area in Mongolia dominated by an outlaw warlord. The latter captures the village where they reside and when escape is clearly impossible, Seeley blows up the outlaw's headquarters, losing his own life in doing so. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

File 649: State Department See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Color:

Color (Cinecolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Television prints are in black and white. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Slanted Screen (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"I always get a tug of emotion when I look at the Lincoln Memorial, don't you?"
30 June 2018 | by richardchattenSee all my reviews

You wouldn't expect a cold war drama with a title like that to be in colour, but here it is...! (Soviet propaganda films of the period were also often in colour believe it or not.) Art director Edward Jewell also otherwise manages to suggest fairly lavish production values on a limited budget and the film was presumably waved through by the Breen Office as being politically useful in the grim new postwar climate (people get their tongues cut out and arms cut off - mercifully off camera - presumably to remind audiences just how dangerous the world still was outside the good old U.S. of A.)

Unfortunately, for all it's up to the minute, Torn-from-Today's-Headlines veneer Russia exploded its first atom bomb and China fell to the communists within months of the film's release in early 1949, rendering its storyline about a dastardly Chinese warlord even more irrelevant to current events; and it fell through a fissure in history that makes it interesting today for so precisely preserving a moment of faltering uncertainty and indecision as the tectonic plates of the United States' relations with the East began shifting in ways that still haven't settled yet.


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