A man is found murdered, with witnesses convinced about the woman they saw leaving his apartment. However, it becomes apparent that the woman has a twin, and finding out which one is the killer seems impossible.
Olivia de Havilland,
Nick Cochran, an American in exile in Macao, has a chance to restore his name by helping capture an international crime lord. Undercover, can he mislead the bad guys and still woo the handsome singer/petty crook, Julie Benson?
Josef von Sternberg,
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.
Interesting, but sometimes slow film about a nuclear physicist working in Washington DC who also spies for some unnamed foreign country. It does have a rather funny, patriotic/propagandist ending. It's most interesting aspect is that it is filmed entirely without dialogue.Written by
Wordless espionage drama an interesting experiment, but...
The noir cycle generated many curios but none odder than this. Russell Rouse (who had just done D.O.A.) decided to direct an espionage drama that falls just short of 90 minutes without containing a single word of dialogue. It's not silent, however: footsteps echo on the cobblestones of Georgetown and the floors of the Library of Congress, cameras click over hush-hush documents at the Atomic Energy Commission, telephones ring (but are never answered). There's also a good score. The espionage concerns thermonuclear secrets, so this film would fall into the sub-category of the Anti-Commie propaganda film, except for the fact that the lack of words allows for no preaching; the skullduggery is all but abstract. And the silence can be seen as expressing the deep, deep underground of the cold-war spy. Questions remain: Ray Milland always does well with this sort of recessive, basically self-loathing character, but why engage an actor with such a distinctive voice to keep his trap shut? And Rita Gam, in her screen debut, has little to do but strike any number of provocative poses and suck sultrily on her cigarette (the "temptation" she poses to Milland is never resolved). The Thief has enough going for it to keep one's attention, but it's an experiment that would have been more welcome had 15 or 20 minutes been shorn off its running time.
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