Saturday, January 02, 2016


First, we see headlines about a crippling Navy spy ring being investigated. Then we see sailor Craig Reynolds and his fiancée Fay Wray in a cab as Reynolds is heading back to his ship after a short vacation with Wray. He leaves her with flowers and gifts, but as soon as he's out of sight, she dumps them in the trash. When Reynolds gets to the ship, he is taken to the brig, ostensibly for being late, but in reality, he is being investigated for possibly being part of a Navy spy ring that is leaking top secret info. Chief Petty Officer Grant Withers, a buddy of Reynolds, manages to get out with an envelope to pass along to interested parties, and he enlists Wray's help. It seems for a while that Reynolds may just a fervent stamp collector, or so claims everyone Withers comes into contact with. Meanwhile Withers and Wray begin a mild flirtation. Soon we're not sure who’s good and who's bad. Certainly given the WWII backdrop, the Germanic, Nazi-ish fellow (William von Brincken) who is interested in Reynolds' stamps must be bad, but what about Wray? Is Reynolds really guilty or just a patsy? And what is Withers' role in all this: just a buddy, or maybe a investigator, or maybe a spy himself?

Plotwise, this B-movie keeps a lot of balls in the air, and its main strength is that it maintains some ambiguity about people's motives throughout, though honestly in the end, it all plays out exactly as you suspect it will. This Monogram sub-B film looks cheap and lacks a background score, but the acting is OK. The action (such as it is) stops dead around the halfway point so Wray and Withers can flirt on a park bench and get comically interrupted by a kid riding a bike. It has potential to be a cute scene but it's awkwardly staged. I watched because Amazon Instant gave Craig Reynolds (pictured with Wray), a favorite of mine, second billing, but after the opening scene in the cab, he is not seen again. Withers and Wray are fine and have nice chemistry. Watchable but nothing special. [Streaming]

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