Criminals Within (June 27, 1941)
Released on June 27, 1941: (running time 65 minutes) A scientist who developed a new, powerful explosive is killed, and his brother goes A.W.O.L. to find his killer. The advertising tagline is: A MYSTERY KILLER STRIKES... and a beautiful blonde pays the penalty for knowing too much... Was she a modern Mata Hari?
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Written by Edward Bennett and Arthur Hoerl.
The Actors: Eric Linden (Corporal Greg Carroll), Ben Alexander (Sergeant Paul, traitor), Donald Curtis (Lieutenant John Harmon), Ann Doran (Linda), Constance Worth (Alma Barton), Bill Cartledge (elevator operator), Jack Cheatham (Agent Martin, military intelligence), Dudley Dickerson (Sam Dillingham, canteen orderly), Ray Erlenborn (Private Norton), Robert Frazer (Captain Bryant), Weldon Heyburn (Sergeant Blake), Earle Hodgins (Agent Wallace, military intelligence), Boyd Irwin (Colonel Longstreet), I. Stanford Jolley (Carl Flegler, cobbler spy), George Lynn (Professor Carroll), Dennis Moore (Stanley Hume, fifth columnist), Bernice Pilot (Mamie, Linda's maid), William Ruhl (Captain Gray), Emmett Vogan (Harold, professor's aide).
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As our spy thriller opens, we see a scientist about to show a military man the results of his work - a secret formula for a new powerful explosive that will change the outcome of the war. And the secret is only in his head, never written down. Unfortunately, he is shot by an unknown assailant, and the secret formula may be lost forever. Now we discover that this famous scientist has a kid brother who has enlisted as a soldier in the Army. We learn that this kid brother, Corporal Greg Carroll, is pretty good at cracking safes, and can run really, really fast. The Army keeps the death of Carroll's scientist brother a secret, and believes that Carroll may be involved, so he is put in military jail. Carroll doesn't know that his brother is already dead, and wants to warn him that his life is in dager, and tries to get out of jail to get word to his brother. While pondering how to get out of jail, the canteen orderly brings in his meal. When Greg breaks open his dinner roll he discovers a skeleton key. Are you old enough to remember skeleton keys?
Sigh . . . I am :~)
Well, our young soldier escapes from jail, and we folllow him on a dangerous journey to discover the spy network and keep the four scientists free from danger. Who is on 'their' side, and who is on our side? Who can you trust? Who put the key into the bun? Will the spies win this one? Are there spies even among the military officers? Did you make your own white kernel popcorn and drizzle the warm melted butter on it, or did you allow someone else to make it for you? Do you trust them? Does it taste as moist and tender as usual? Hmmmm