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Captain Carey, U.S.A. Reviews

Another soldier-of-fortune tale for the tough and taciturn Ladd in the vein of his OSS, CALCUTTA, CHINA, and SAIGON. Here Ladd recovers from wounds in the U.S. after WW II. While passing a display window of a NYC art gallery he spots a painting that had once been hidden in an underground hideout in Italy, one where Ladd and his OSS team worked as espionage agents. Realizing that only his team and an Italian girl, Hendrix, had known about the room, he begins to investigate, trying to discover who smuggled out the painting. All of his fellow agents and the girl had been killed; he alone survived. Now he believes he can unearth the traitor by following the trail of the painting. Once again in a little village near Milan, Italy, Ladd discovers that Hendrix is still alive, married to Lederer. She tells him that she thought him dead and only married Lederer at the insistence of her grandmother, an aristocratic countess. Ladd first suspects Hendrix, then Lederer as the traitor. After several harrowing experiences with village toughs who think he is the man who betrayed the village to the Nazis and brought down a bloodbath--Ladd has to use his fists and ingenuity to escape several attackers--the one-time spy learns that Lederer is the man who smuggled out the painting from the underground hideout, and therefore had knowledge of the hiding place. Just as he is about to corner him as a spy, he discovers that Lovsky, the doddering countess is the real traitor, that she told the Nazis about the hideout so they would spare her grandson who was in a concentration camp. Lederer conveniently dies during Ladd's investigation, and Hendrix is free to marry him. In a grand gesture, Ladd does not turn in the traitorous grandmother but merely leaves her alone with her own devastating memories as he and Hendrix depart for America. Although the dark mood and brooding atmosphere of the film are well sustained, the many twists of the plot confuse the story and muddle the action. This is not one of Ladd's better films, but his effort is nevertheless commendable. The film did offer the haunting "Mona Lisa," sung memorably by the great Nat King Cole, a tune which won an Academy Award and went on to top the hit parade in 1950.