Walk a Crooked Mile (1948)

90-91 mins | Drama | September 1948

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writer:

George Bruce

Producer:

Grant Whytock

Cinematographer:

George Robinson

Editor:

James E. Newcom

Production Designer:

Rudolph Sternad

Production Company:

Edward Small Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of this film was FBI Meets Scotland Yard . The film opens with an offscreen narrator explaining that "This picture is meant to acquaint the people of the United States with the problems of our Federal Agents, to whom is entrusted the safeguarding of our nation's top secrets--and with the character of our enemies, who walk their crooked miles along the highways and byways of Free America." According to the Var review, some scenes were shot in San ... More Less

The working title of this film was FBI Meets Scotland Yard . The film opens with an offscreen narrator explaining that "This picture is meant to acquaint the people of the United States with the problems of our Federal Agents, to whom is entrusted the safeguarding of our nation's top secrets--and with the character of our enemies, who walk their crooked miles along the highways and byways of Free America." According to the Var review, some scenes were shot in San Francisco. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
11 Sep 1948.
---
Daily Variety
1 Sep 48
p. 3, 8
Film Daily
2 Sep 48
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 48
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 48
p. 8, 11
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
21 Aug 48
p. 4283.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
11 Sep 48
p. 4311.
New York Times
13 Oct 48
p. 31.
San Francisco Chronicle
16 Sep 48
p. 27.
Variety
8 Sep 48
p. 10.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Adpt from a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Stills
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
FBI Meets Scotland Yard
Release Date:
September 1948
Premiere Information:
World premiere in San Francisco: 16 September 1948
Production Date:
11 May--12 June 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 September 1948
Copyright Number:
LP1934
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
90-91
Country:
United States
PCA No:
13345
SYNOPSIS

When a young FBI agent assigned to guard the Lakeview Laboratory of Nuclear Physics, a top secret research facility devoted to the development of the atom bomb, is murdered, Daniel O'Hara, the senior government agent assigned to the project, launches an intense manhunt for his killer. Suspecting that Anton Radchek, an illegal alien, may be involved in the crime, Dan and several other agents trail Radchek to a San Francisco rooming house. Despite constant surveillance by FBI operatives, Radchek is murdered, and Dan's only clue to his killer is a phone call Radchek made to a man named Igor Braun. At San Francisco FBI headquarters, Dan is introduced to Philip Grayson, an emissary from Scotland Yard on a special mission to track down an artist who has been exporting paintings to London, which, under ultra violet light, reveal a secret formula developed at the Lakeview laboratory. When Dan notices that the painting is signed by Igor Braun, the two agents join forces to find the location depicted in the painting. Tracing Braun to an apartment in the city, Dan and Grayson slip in one day while Braun is out to lunch and discover that he is just completing another painting in which is embedded a secret formula. After Braun crates the artwork for shipping, Dan and Grayson learn that it is destined for London. His mission completed in San Francisco, Braun flies to Los Angeles and then drives to an art shop in Lakeview owned by Adolph Mizner, the leader of a communist spy ring. Following Braun, Dan and Grayson then confer with Dr. Frederick Townsend, the director of the Lakeview project. When Townsend identifies ... +


When a young FBI agent assigned to guard the Lakeview Laboratory of Nuclear Physics, a top secret research facility devoted to the development of the atom bomb, is murdered, Daniel O'Hara, the senior government agent assigned to the project, launches an intense manhunt for his killer. Suspecting that Anton Radchek, an illegal alien, may be involved in the crime, Dan and several other agents trail Radchek to a San Francisco rooming house. Despite constant surveillance by FBI operatives, Radchek is murdered, and Dan's only clue to his killer is a phone call Radchek made to a man named Igor Braun. At San Francisco FBI headquarters, Dan is introduced to Philip Grayson, an emissary from Scotland Yard on a special mission to track down an artist who has been exporting paintings to London, which, under ultra violet light, reveal a secret formula developed at the Lakeview laboratory. When Dan notices that the painting is signed by Igor Braun, the two agents join forces to find the location depicted in the painting. Tracing Braun to an apartment in the city, Dan and Grayson slip in one day while Braun is out to lunch and discover that he is just completing another painting in which is embedded a secret formula. After Braun crates the artwork for shipping, Dan and Grayson learn that it is destined for London. His mission completed in San Francisco, Braun flies to Los Angeles and then drives to an art shop in Lakeview owned by Adolph Mizner, the leader of a communist spy ring. Following Braun, Dan and Grayson then confer with Dr. Frederick Townsend, the director of the Lakeview project. When Townsend identifies the formula as having been developed within the last week, the agents realize one of the five scientists working on the project is a traitor. Through a two-way mirror, the agents observe the scientists--Toni Neva, Ritter Van Stolb, William Forrest, Romer Allen and Townsend--at one of their Friday meetings. The following Monday, Braun sends another painting to London, prompting Dan to surmise that the formula was smuggled out through the plant laundry. Posing as a worker, Grayson infiltrates the laundry and observes Toni drop off a load of clothes from which the clerk extracts a handkerchief, which he then slips into a box of men's shirts. After Krebs, one of the spies, picks up the box, Grayson knocks him unconscious, steals the box and finds a formula inscribed on the handkerchief. Upon regaining consciousness, Krebs returns to Braun's headquarters and recalls that Grayson, a new employee, has just started working at the laundry. Hurrying to Grayson's rooming house, the spies begin to brutalize Grayson and his landlady when Dan arrives. After plucking the handkerchief from Dan's briefcase, Braun orders one of his men to eliminate the agents and leaves the room. Dan and Grayson then overpower their captor, but in the fray, the landlady is killed. Convinced that the handkerchief incriminates Toni and her lover, Van Stolb, the agents question Toni, who protests her innocence. The next day, Van Stolb's body is discovered, a victim of apparent suicide. When a closer investigation reveals that Van Stolb has been murdered, the agents realize that the spies were trying to frame him and decide to flush out the true traitor by forcing him to deliver the formula personally. While following Allen, one of the three remaining scientists, Dan is shot at and forced over a cliff by Krebs. Grayson speeds to rescue Dan from his burning vehicle, and they alert the police about Allen. With the help of the police, the agents locate Allen and Braun closeted in a small house. After a blazing shootout, the agents arrest Allen, the scion of a prominent Boston family, as the traitor. When Allen proclaims his loyalty to his country, Dan forces open his palm, revealing an imprint of the secret formula. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.