The Dawn Express (1942)

the dawn express 1842

Decent B movie about a gang of Nazi spies that want to get their paws on a formula that can double the power of gasoline. It can also cause an explosion large enough to bring down a building.

Captain Gemmler and his spy ring kidnap two chemists. Turns out they’re the wrong ones and they’re bumped off. The two they want are Robert Norton (Michael Whalen) and Tom Fielding (William Bakewell). Tom likes his booze and babes so Gemmler sets up Linda Pavlo to play a Polish refugee and attract Tom. All it takes is a cigarette lighter that doesn’t work and Tom to the rescue with a match. The next day at the chemical lab Bob cautions him about hooking up with strange babes in bars.

G-Man Jack Curtis tells the President of the chemical company Franklyn Prescott about the murders.  Prescott says for security reasons the other half of the formula is put together in his East Coast plant. Curtis tells him the chemist there, Charles Smith, is actually professor Karl Schmidt, a Nazi spy. He’s disappeared with his half of the formula.

Tom and Bob don’t know it but Curtis has them followed that night. Tom goes back to The Tavern and discovers that Linda is really a spy. Gemmler threatens him that if he doesn’t turn over the formula his mother and sister Nancy (Anne Nagal) will be killed.

One of Gemmler’s gang is a man who poses as a blind panhandler. Tom is so steamed at what he finds out he doesn’t notice he’s being followed. The third man in the parade is the “blind” man. He pulls a knife out of his cane and kills the man following Tom.

The next day back at the plant Bob notices his notes are missing. Tom denies any knowledge of that. Bob is called to Prescott’s office. Nancy sets up the intercom so she can hear. Curtis says Tom is suspected of being a spy. Bob doesn’t buy it. Tom finally admits to him what’s been going on.

Bob heads back to The Tavern and is introduced to Linda. He’s offered a hundred grand for his half of the formula. Looks like he’s ready to deal. Later that night Tom,Bob and Nancy agree to try and bring down the spy ring. Back at Gemmler’s office he orders Schmidt to hop the dawn express and fly in to get the other half of the formula.

There’s some good action in the last twenty minutes that makes this one to watch. There’s the usual overdoing it. The spies give each other knowing looks, one hides behind a newspaper and there’s some corny dialogue but not enough to make anyone avoid this one.

In the lab with William Bakewell and Michael Whalen

In the lab with William Bakewell and Michael Whalen




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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