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Escape in the Fog
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A nurse (Nina Foch, My Name is Julia Ross), suffering from a nervous breakdown, has nightmares about a man being murdered, only to see him standing in front of her when she awakens.
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The first scene shows the Golden Gate Bridge shrouded by fog at night. A young woman walks alone. A cab stops, two men get out and fight. The woman screams! Then two men break into her room, it is a nightmare. She tells about her discharge for shock, she was a nurse on a ship that was sunk. She meets a man visiting at that Inn and they talk about visiting San Francisco. The man stops at a house, he has a new assignment. He will deliver a package to Hong Kong while posing as a German agent. He will contact the Chinese resistance in preparation for ending the war. A man enters the house to work on a grandfather clock (he removes a small spool). This recorded the speech! These German agents will try to stop the man, calling hotels to locate Barry Malcolm.
Ride-sharing is used by taxicabs (part of rationing). German agents act to intercept Malcolm! A speeding car causes Arlene Carr to fall down. Later she visits Paul Devin and tells him what she dreamt. Believable? Devin learns about the failure in plans. “Very neat, gentlemen” says Malcolm. Will Federal agents be on his trail? The cab stops, Arlene screams, a policeman arrives, shots are exchanged. Arlene explains. Malcolm visits the Navy for help, can they recover the packet? A German agent listens to the pulse dialing to record the number! Can they learn the name of the ship? Malcolm learns the name of the ship and goes to investigate. Arlene reads a “Lost & Found” newspaper ad and goes to reclaim the packet. It is a trap! They find that note. They call the police and ask for the return of that packet.
But Malcolm gets to the police first and stops the delivery. A ransom note will trade Arlene for that packet. Malcolm calls for help and plans to go to that rendezvous to rescue Arlene. Devin discovers the recorder in his grandfather clock! He learns Schiller’s name. Malcolm is intercepted, a man orders him into the sewer. There is a secret lair there, Malcolm and Arlene are imprisoned. The gas line is turned on! [Coal gas was poisonous because it contained carbon monoxide.] Can they escape? Malcolm uses a cigarette lighter to send a message and help arrives. The police search for the two enemy agents. “Lend me a gun” says Malcolm. The two German agents separate to escape. There is shooting, the enemy agents are stopped, taken dead or alive. “That’s not fog, its moonlight in disguise.”
This is a low budget movie that is very good due to its story. Yes, there are some implausible events but they are excusable in a low-budget movie. Note the methods used in undercover operations, and the failures as well. It was a mistake to let two men leave together through the front door, a watcher saw them. Recording in those days was done with wire recorders. A secret agent should have used an alias when registering in a hotel. Note the women filling in what were men’s jobs. Notice the expression on those three women musicians?