Suspense-packed espionage yarn, approached from a documentary angle, has Nolan as a no-nonsense federal investigator who is sought out by German-American Eythe, a brilliant student. He has been contacted by Nazi spies, he tells Nolan, and asked to work with them. Nolan encourages Eythe to
accept the offer and work as a double agent, reporting all Nazi activities to the FBI. Slowly, Eythe ingratiates himself with several Nazi agents and is assigned, as a technician, to transmit messages to Germany via short-wave radio. He establishes a remote radio hideout and begins sending
messages, really to FBI headquarters, and its operators pass on fake information to Germany. Through this system Eythe is able to learn that Nazi agents are after data concerning the development of the atomic bomb (referred to here as "Process 97"), identifying Lockhart, one of the scientists
working on the apparatus, as a Nazi agent.
Hathaway's direction is quick and uses the newsreel style made famous by producer de Rochemont, who produced the MARCH OF TIME series. The film was shot on location in New York and other points where actual spy cases from FBI files really occurred. The semi-documentary style gave sharp
authenticity to the film as did the use of nonprofessional actors (many of whom were FBI agents and technical personnel). The stentorian narration provided by Hadley, who made a handsome living in films narrating such stories, further convinced viewers that they were watching the real thing. In
some instances they were; Hathaway incorporated newsreel shots of real German spies being rounded up at the beginning of WWII, along with telephotos of the German consulate in New York and its real life spies going and coming. The tremendous atmospherics gave birth to a series of films adopting
the same semi-documentary approach, notably T-MEN, THE NAKED CITY, and WALK A CROOKED MILE. Hasso is incomparable as the Nazi ringleader in this, her most impressive film.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Suspense-packed espionage yarn, approached from a documentary angle, has Nolan as a no-nonsense federal investigator who is sought out by German-American Eythe, a brilliant student. He has been contacted by Nazi spies, he tells Nolan, and asked to work wit… (more)