Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Entomologist Margaret Lockwood is sent by British Intelligence to a Communist country to indentify the kinds of insects they are using in what are assumed to be experiments on germ warfare. As she prepares for her trip, she hears a secret agent show on the radio which she relates to her nephew as she puts him to bed, and, as she's doing spy work of a sort, the story sticks in her head. What seems a lark becomes, well, highly dangerous when her contact is murdered and his body left in her hotel room. The chief of police (Marius Goring), who has previously pegged her as a spy, arrests her and injects her with a truth serum, after which she begins relating the plot of the radio show as though she was the fictitious ace agent. Told she will be escorted out of the country in 24 hours, she enlists the aid of an American press agent (Dane Clark) in carrying out an outlandish plan that just might work. Some critics dismiss this British-made film as too unbelievable to be an effective spy story, but noted spy novelist Eric Ambler obviously wrote the screenplay as a near-parody of the thriller genre, and it works nicely as such, largely due to the charm and talent of Lockwood and Clark (both pictured at right). There is good support from Naunton Wayne, Wilfrid Hyde-White, and Michael Hordern. [Netflix streaming]

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