The F.B.I.'s own tense, terrific story behind the protection of the ATOMIC BOMB!
The US Government tries to track down embedded Nazi agents in the States.
The US Government tries to track down embedded Nazi agents in the States.
This movie was approved of by Edgar J. Hoover....so it is all about how great the FBI performs in protecting the country from evil. Based on a true case and filmed in many of the locations the events occured. First half of movie is pretty much a documentary with narration. Last hour of the movie....you get some acting...not good acting but acting. An average movie at best. Interesting story told in a pretty dull way.
Wow. That was the very definition of plodding.
By the end of the opening credits I was fearing what I'd gotten myself into, as it became clear that this was one of those FBI approved movies, in other words, a movie that was going to show us how great and important the FBI was, and the newsreel style bookends don't help with that feeling. Thankfully, between those bookends we get an interesting spy procedural, with the interesting choice of documentary style storytelling. Another issue then comes in as that style and it being a bit of FBI propaganda, mean that we go heavy on the process and light on character and thrilling moments.
As for the plot, it's about Nazi spies who infiltrated the United States before they…
The use of real newsreel footage gave this some authenticity, almost like a quality docu-drama on the hunt for Nazi spies in America. Stars William Eythe, who does a fine job. Weird he didn't become a bigger star. Because this goes about celebrating the methods of FBI a little too much, if comes at the expense of the suspense. Not completely stripped of excitement, though, you get the usual cross-examination a double agent goes through. A quality spy drama which won Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story.
Classic Film Challenge 2019
Film #2 - Winner of the Academy Award for Best Story
Apparently producer Louis de Rouchemont was the one who pioneered the docudrama approach to crime films that became so abundant in the late 40's through the 50's. You take a regular detective story, but allow the narrator to explain the procedure that the police undertake in solving the crime. This can merely be how the movie begins, as in The Phenix City Story, or it could run the entire length of the film, as it does in He Walked by Night.
One could be charitable and say that this approach allowed insight into how police operate, which was probably more novel in a time where…
This film is based on the true story of William G. Sebold. It was approved by the FBI which allowed real footage and real agents to be used. The semi-documentary style made it pretty dry. I didn't get even one wisecrack from Lloyd Nolan which is a waste of his talents. :p
1) Docudrama. Prototype for the procedural noirs Anthony Mann would score with a few years later.
2) FBI propaganda, probably did as much to cement the reputation of Hoover's Boys as important players in US security as anything else may have done.
3) Lang's dystopia of surveillance becoming this much more a reality. Happening before your eyes.
A stiff police/FBI procedural, The House on 92nd Street (1945) chronicles the search for a Nazi spy ring operating in the U.S. prior to WWII. Someone is smuggling parts of the formula for Process 97 (the Atomic Bomb) out of a top secret facility and the FBI, led by Agent Briggs (Lloyd Nolan) want to find out how. The bureau has recruited Bill Dietrich (William Eythe), a German national, also recruited by German intelligence, to infiltrate the ring, pass information to the FBI, and identify the ring's leader. Known only as Mr. Christopher, the Nazi leader has thus far eluded detection and his identity remains a secret until the end of the film. Dietrich, faked CV in hand, presents himself…
Ignoring the fact that The House on 92nd Street is an FBI propaganda film, it manages to be a fun little spy thriller. It is loaded with spy gadgets and plenty of cool nods to the espionage genre, in fact it is one Aston Martin away from being the complete package. Given the film is part documentary, I was surprised at how advanced the FBI's spy craft was in the 1940s - granted it is propaganda made to paint them as heroes, but there is still a lot of fascinating operational moments within the film. When mixed with the 'recreation' of their investigation, it makes for a briskly paced and original film.
Film #30 Classic Film Challenge 2019
Task 2: Watch a film that WON the Oscar for Best Story
Film #4 of Scavenger Hunt #57
Task 3: Watch a Film Noir
This has not aged well. I haven't seen any of the films it was up against in the Best Story category, so I can't speak to whether this truly should have won, but watching it today it's a dull film, plodding and lacking in suspense. This is the most boring film noir I've ever watched. The quasi-documentary style and voice over does not help the film, and it comes off aggressively patriotic. I should take the year this came out as context there, and maybe it was a better watch in 1945. I mean, at least the acting was alright. But this is not a film for the ages, and I can't see watching it again at any point or recommending it.
Too procedural for my tastes even though it seems to have succeeded and spawned a whole genre of its own. The Nazis all look grimy and nasty looking; not difficult to spot on the street as they go about sabotaging and stealing secrets. So an innocent look at a cynical subject even as cinema geared up for period of dark treats. Propaganda still has a hand in the film's optimism.
Pretty good war-tinged film noir that despite lack of star power, had a very dependable director in Henry Hathaway and a fine script (which actually won writer Charles G. Booth an Oscar for Best Writing--Original Story, the film's only nomination), as a Nazi spy ring just so happens to have a double agent in the FBI. Worth at least a watch, if you're either interested in wartime films about WWII or noirs in general. You'll be doing yourself a favour, indeed.
This spy movie about the FBI's counterintelligence efforts during World War II trumpets its own authenticity. The story is based on FBI case files, and real FBI agents act as extras. The opening narration stresses that the film was shot at the actual locations where these events took place. The first shot shows the real J. Edgar Hoover hard at work, so you know it's going to be a pro-FBI propaganda film. If there is such a thing as an espionage procedural, somewhat like a police procedural, this is it. The plot gets into the nuts and bolts of FBI counterintelligence work and features a lot of clever tricks of spycraft. The chain of events is interesting, but the story…
It's one of those movies where you can almost feel the clock ticking every minute off of the running time.
The doctrine of ‘show, don’t tell’ must’ve been invented in 1946. What could have been an interesting story played like an episode of Dateline. Snore.
Se alguém filmasse um relatório burocrático dos arquivos do FBI, cheio de informações inúteis, pessoas que nada tem a ver com a história, e demais enrolações feitas para encher página; de tom frio e cientificista, sem afetação nenhuma pelos personagens, feito com o único objetivo de provar o quanto o FBI é eficiente, dotado de ferramentas de última tecnologia, capaz de investigar sem ressalvas qualquer imigrante que pareça suspeito...seria este filme.
Um docudrama propagandista dos mais burocráticos. Obviamente as imagens de arquivo e as cenas de rua ganham outra força hoje, mas são poucas e não compensam o drama de salão B que é todo o resto. Há uma boa sequência de ação ao final, mas é toda chupada do Scarface de Hawks.
E toda a propaganda é ainda para glorificar como o FBI impediu que espiões sabotassem as bombas nucleares jogadas no Japão...
It does have a nice premise, but the execution isn’t the best. In the first hour the dialogue and acting are mostly low to mediocre quality, the over explaining narration makes it feel cheap and badly produced, and the direction is a very bland 40s Hollywood direction, really nothing interesting or creative there. But the last 20 minutes are a little better and more intense.
Thoroughly absorbing, nicely-paced spy nonsense threatens at first to overuse its voiceover (did the same guy provide narration for every film of the 40s that used it? It seems that way) but settles into a pleasingly twisty plot that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Eythe is a little blah but Nolan, Hasso and Carroll are good value in support.
FBI spy procedural. Similar in style to T-Men, though not as good. But I was engaged throughout and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Way too slow and dry. A little bit of tension at the climax but too little to late. Hathaway's direction is fine but doesn't really stand out much except for some good noir-ish shots in the last few minutes.
MundoF 12,882 films
It’s an LGBTQ+ world and these are my other LGBTQ+ lists on Letterboxd:
➡️Minor Interest Films: In the Closet: A…
NeverTooEarlyMP 4,925 films
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
pileofcrowns 560 films
Bill Georgaris of TSPDT has finally decided to start updating his film noir page. This means the old version of…
Chris Sweet 840 films
I cloned this list from here: letterboxd.com/anne_f_/list/1000-noir-films-they-shot-dark-pictures-didnt/ and updated it through August 28 2020.
I also rearranged it chronologically, to…
FilmFan1971 300 films
All the films listed in my 1988 edition of Alain Silver and Elizabeth Ward's Film Noir: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide, billed…