Waterfront (1944)

waterfront `944

A rare PRC production that’s actually worth watching. That’s because of John Carradine as a Nazi agent on the San Francisco waterfront.

Two drunks spot a robbery in progress and call for the police. When they show up there’s nothing going on. The drunks point out the victim. He’s oculist Dr.Carl Decker (J.Carol Naish). He denies being robbed and suggests the drunks come to his shop for an eye exam.

Victor Marlow (John Carradine) drops into the shop. He’s just in from Germany. Decker runs the ring of agents on the docks. Marlow’s instructions are in code. Too bad the thief made off with the code book. Decker thinks he knows the thief. He’s a waterfront character named Adolph Mertz.

He’s seen coming out of Oscar Zimmerman’s bar. Marlow follows him and pushes him in the water. The death is ruled a suicide. He didn’t have the book. He’d already given it to Zimmerman. He was hired by insurance underwriter Max Kramer to get it. It has the names of the Nazi agents on the waterfront.

Marlow is staying in the rooming house run by Mrs.Hauser. He forced his way in by threatening her family still in Germany. Also in the house are her daughter Freda and Maisie and Butch a waitress and bartender at Zimmerman’s. Freda is the secretary of Max Kramer.

Zimmerman writes a note to Decker to meet him at his bar and he’ll get the book….for five grand. He says he’ll get the money. Later, Marlow shows up and kills Zimmerman and gets the book back.

Freda’s fiancee, Jerry Donovan, is in line for a big contract to refurbish a freighter. Kramer says he’ll lend him the money to post a bond so he can get the job. Kramer panics when Zimmerman is killed. He writes out a confession to be mailed to the FBI and he’s on his way out of town.

He calls Freda and tells her to put the envelopes in the safe and not to tell anyone. Of course she repeats everything out loud and Marlow is nearby listening in. He visits Kramer and bumps him off. Freda tells Jerry that Kramer is leaving town that night. He panics because he needs the money. He rushes to Kramer’s office just as Marlowe is putting a bullet in him.

Marlowe gets out and Jerry is arrested for the murder. As things continue the script  doesn’t make a lot of sense but it’s still worth a view thanks to Carradine.



About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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