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Submarine Base (July 20, 1943)

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John Litel in Submarine Base

Released on July 20, 1943: On a remote island, combine a New York Gangster, some American girls in a dance bar, a ship's engineer rescued from a tramp steamer, and a German U-Boat base, and you have one fine war adventure.

Directed by Albert H. Kelley

The Actors: John Litel (James Xavier 'Jim' Taggart), Alan Baxter (Joe Morgan), Eric Blore (Spike, Morgan's aide), Georges Metaxa (Nazi Agent Anton Kroll), George Flaherty (David Cavanaugh), Rafael Storm (Felipo), Fifi D'Orsay (Maria Styx), Iris Adrian (Dorothy), Jacqueline Dalya (Judy Pierson), Anna Demetrio (Angela Styx), Luis Alberni (Mr. Styx), Lucien Prival (German submarine captain), Frederic Brunn (Submarine Commander), Maurice Cass (Commissioner D'Oeuf).

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Joe Morgan is a New York City gangster that got framed for a murder he didn't commit and took it on the lam to a small tropical island on the equator names St. John. On the island, Joe and his henchman Spike (a British actor you will recognize that usually plays the part of a butler) seem to be selling torpedoes to German submarines for lots of cash. In reality he boobie-traps the torpedos so that when the submarines go back out to sea they explode and sink. On the way back to their island home after selling some torpedos to a German sub, they spot a swimmer in the ocean, and it turns out to be someone that Joe knew in New York. Jim Taggert was a New York City cop that chased Joe and tried to put him in jail. Now he is swimming for his life in the ocean. Joe picks him up and discovers that he quit the police force to join the WWII fight, but is rejected by all of the armed forces. He winds up working in the Merchant Marines, and has had his ship torpedoed out from under him, and is the only survivor. Joe gets him to the island, but warns him to stay out of his way, because Joe doesn't like him one bit.

On this island there are a bunch of pretty girls from the States that were hired to entertain at the local bar, but they are very anxious to get back to America, and Joe has promised to take them in his boat, but he is too busy selling booby-trapped torpedoes to the Germans. The girls think he just wants to keep them trapped on the island. It seems that everyone on the island knows Joe is up to something, because he spreads around a lot of money - much more than could be earned as a fisherman, where he claims his money comes from. So Joe, with his cop blood stirred up, decides to snoop around and find out where gangster Joe is really getting his money. While going through Joe's house when Joe is away, he finds several Nazi emblems on large medallions from the German Navy. Cop Jim Taggert is now convinced that Joe is fighting on the wrong side of the war, and is determined to stop him.

Taggert spreads around the island that Joe may be helping the enemy, and Joe is now suspect by everyone on the island. We next discover that there is a Nazi agent on the island, Anton Kroll, a shopkeeper, and it is him that Joe goes through to set up the deal for the German subs to dock nearby and buy the torpedoes. One night when a sub is scheduled to come i for a supply of torpedoes, cop Taggert follows Joe and watches as he meets with the sub captain and arranges the sale of booby-trapped torpedoes. And with Taggert is a fellow that the German spy arranged to watch him, and the German agent discovers that Joe is double-crossing the Germans. So now the cop believes that Joe is helping the Germans, and the German spy knows that Joe is double-crossing them.

The poop is about to hit the fan, and you don't want to miss the blockbuster ending to this WWII thriller between the gangster, the showgirls, the cop and the Nazi spy.