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is a 1952 American black-and white Cold War spy film directed by Russell Rouse
Russell Rouse was an American screenwriter, director, and producer who is noted for the "offbeat creativity and originality"of his screenplays and for film noir movies and television episodes produced in the 1950s....
. The film is unusual because there is no dialog spoken throughout the film.
Ray Milland plays Dr. Allan Fields a nuclear physicist who works for the Atomic Energy Commission
The United States Atomic Energy Commission was an agency of the United States government established after World War II by Congress to foster and control the peace time development of atomic science and technology. President Harry S...
in Washington D.C. Fields is also a spy working for an unnamed foreign power. Through a series of elaborate devices and plans, Fields takes secret photos of his top-secret work and passes the secrets, through a vast network chain in New York City, to an apparently enemy country. The latest canister of microfilm the doctor sends out is picked up by authorities after the courier is killed in a traffic accident in Central Park with the documents in his possession.
Fields comes under suspicion by the FBI. Now scared and paranoid, he stays overnight in a cheap hotel. He's waiting for a call on the hall phone to give him instructions on his next move. After he's finally contacted, he's tailed by an FBI agent to the Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark skyscraper and American cultural icon in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet , and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft high. Its name is derived...
. While at the observatory tower, Fields meets his contact. The alert F.B.I. agent spots this and pursues Fields who climbs even higher, at one point Fields fights off the agent causing him to plummet to his death. He escapes the building with papers in hand that will get him out of the country, but he becomes shaken by the sight of the dead agent on the sidewalk. The doctor finally breaks down back in his hotel room after realizing what he has done and gives himself up to the F.B.I. the next day.
- Ray Milland
Ray Milland was a Welsh actor and director. His screen career ran from 1929 to 1985, and he is best remembered for his Academy Award–winning portrayal of an alcoholic writer in The Lost Weekend , a sophisticated leading man opposite a corrupt John Wayne in Reap the Wild Wind , the murder-plotting...
as Allan Fields
- Martin Gabel
Martin Gabel was an American actor, film director and film producer.-Life and career:Gabel was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Ruth and Israel Gabel, who was a jeweler...
as Mr. Bleek
- Harry Bronson as Harris
- Rita Vale as Miss Philips
- Rex O'Malley
Rex O'Malley was a British actor.. His mother was Irish and a seamstress. At one stage she worked for Queen Victoria as her dressmaker and had a store on Sloane Street, London.-Selected filmography:* Somebody's Darling...
- Rita Gam
Rita Gam is an American film and television actress and documentary film maker. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.-Career:...
as The Girl
The film received mixed reviews when released. Some found the film an effective film noir
Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s...
, while others found the lack of dialog a gimmick that wore out its welcome early in the film, though many found the suspense of "will someone speak before the end of the film?" part of its magnetism.
| Year || Award/Category || Recipient || Result
| Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...
|| Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture
|| Herschel Burke Gilbert
| Golden Globe Awards
|| Best Cinematography - Black and White
|| Sam Leavitt
|| Best Motion Picture - Drama
|| Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama
|| Ray Milland
|| Best Screenplay
|| Clarence Greene Russell Rouse
|| Most Promising Newcomer - Female
|| Rita Gam