Sunday, May 24, 2015

The House on 92nd Street (1945)

Political espionage procedural about an undercover agent for the FBI, who infiltrates a group of Nazi spies operating out of a house on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The premise is ultimately marred by the fact that it lacks any real suspense, as there isn't any doubt that the government agents will save the day, and the rather too convenient conclusion feels both contrived and anti-climactic. The picture is helped by strong location photography (with nice views of 1940s New York and Washington DC), and a solid cast including William Eythe, Lloyd Nolan, Signe Hasso, Leo G. Carroll and Gene Lockhart. Produced for 20th Century-Fox by documentary filmmaker Louis DeRochement, the film combines actual newsreel footage with the dramatic action to good effect, while Henry Hathaway's direction is characteristically straightforward.

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