A Lady Without Passport

Synopsis: There is a problem with foreign nationals using Cuba as a convenient jumping off point for illegal entry into the United States. So U.S. Immigration Service Agent Peter Karczag (John Hodiak) is sent to Havana posing as a Hungarian frustrated with the legal immigration process and open to an alternative. By this means he uncovers the human smuggling ring run by Palinov (George Macready). He also meets concentration-camp refugee Marianne Lorress (Hedy Lamarr), a Viennese working in a nightclub and one who has paid to be smuggled into the United States. When Karczag falls in love with her, he becomes conflicted, not wanting her to be among those he plans to have captured in his operation. So he tries to persuade her to stay in Cuba instead of being secretly flown to the United States. Will he succeed? What if his cover is blown?
Director(s): Joseph H. Lewis
Production: MGM
74 min


I've been looking all

over new york for you.

Get in.

You can't get away

with that money, ramon.

Palinov wants

to see you in havana.

Get in!

Get back.

Come on, please get back.

Stay back, everybody.


He's crazy.

Stand back, folks.

All right.

Stand back.

Step back.

Victim's name,

ramon santez.

He had it tattooed

on his chest.

Victim's address,


This stuff was found

in his pockets.

What good's half a thousand

dollar bill to anybody?

No good

without the other half.

We really drew a blank

on this guy.

Wait a minute.

These are given away

free on airlines,

and so are these.

Looks like we better

start checking flights.

Thanks, doc.

All right.

Morning, miss.

Good morning.

They tell me

you recognize

the man

in this picture.

Yes, i remember him.

Flight 30,

yesterday morning.

Yesterday morning?

Yes. Nonstop to new york from miami.

Did you notice

anything unusual

about this man's


Well, he was looking

sort of greeny,

so i gave him the inhaler and some gum-

any-anything else?


Miami, huh?

All right.

Thank you very much.



Well, your man

recently walked

through a field

of ripe sugarcane.

We found traces

of it in his shoes

and the cuffs

of his trousers.


Not in new york?

Not in miami either.

This red clay we found on his shoes

is typical of cuba.

Miami and cuba?

Well, this is a job

for the immigration boys.


from flight 26 for miami,

now arriving at gate 5.

Lieutenant lannahan?


I'm chief control

inspector westlake.

Hi. Got something for me?

That i have.

A picture

of a dead man,

a half-thousand

dollar bill,

some chewing gum,

an inhaler,

and a lot

of questions.

That's quite a haul.

Come on.

We will prepare a dossier

on santez for you,

but you will find only

one item of interest.

Since i'm starting

from scratch,

one would be a help.

Santez was associated

with a man named palinov,

owner of

the gulf stream cafe.

Our information on seor

palinov's activities

will be included

in the dossier.

Thank you.

In appearance,

this palinov is-

seor, he is charming.

He is refined,


However, i am certain

he is not so considerate

toward the laws

of the united states.


those relating

to the smuggling in

of aliens?

Pues, s.

5 or 6 aliens

make an appearance

at his cafe

every week or two.


They are to be found

sipping drinks

at a table.

Then suddenly, poof,

they disappear.

And the next week,

a new group.

Well, that's for me.

I'll try to do

as much for you



That we will offer

any assistance

goes without saying.

I regret we are unable

to arrest him for you,

but we, like you,

we have no laws

preventing aliens being

taken out of the country.

I understand.

Thank you very much.

A suerte.


A word of caution.

Palinov is also

arrogant and clever.

He has spotted

every man

we have assigned

to his cafe.

I don't intend to walk in

and wait for him to spot me.

I want an invitation.

I'm gonna let seor

palinov come after me.


We talk americano just

like all us americans.

Oh, this makes 5

since noon.

Today, nobody

will be refused.

Marianne lorress.

Here you can

see everything.

They come

in their finery,

trying to cling

to their dignity,

trying to hide

the desperation they feel.

You will not

keep me

out of

the united states.


not here to keep you out.

We're glad

to admit you

if you're eligible.

I am eligible.

Just fill in

those forms.

Your new application

will be dated as of today.

Application? How long i

have to wait this time?

Hungarian quota?

About 3 years.

3 years? I don't wait 3 years.

Let them wait

3 years, not me.

The spell is broken.

Now nobody will be

admitted today.

Oh, monsieur,

excuse me.

I, too, have just come from the embassy.


So many

so foolish laws.

So many facets.

I overheard


I view your problems

with great sympathy.

Save your sympathy.

Oh, well.

Oh, allow me,


Would you do me the honor

of having a drink with me?

You pay?

I drink.

You will like

what's offered here.

The usual.

Yes, i know how

a man like yourself

must resent those idiotic

regulations of the united states.

I resent them?

I spit on them.

Who are you?

I am palinov,

and this is

my humble home,

my business,

my hobby.

I don't think

much of it.

I am joseph gombush.





Are you, too,

a hungarian?

Ah, only when the occasion demands.

I'm a levantine.


I was brought to

your establishment by-

he was going to pay.

On the house.


I could hardly ask a new

friend to wash glasses

to pay

for his drink.

You are insulting.

Oh, i was joking.

Put it away.

I heard you speak

of the laws




the united states.

You overheard.

One overhears more

interesting things.

I will have another

of the same.

On the house.

You were saying.

One would think

i had enough to do

running the

gulf stream cafe,

but, no,

i had to be plagued

with a soft heart.

It's hardly


When i hear

of people

who want to enter

the united states,

i am moved.

And what do you do?

What can i do?


i put someone

in touch with a man

who might help him.

I would pay.

I wouldn't dream

of it.

Any price

within reason

for you

or anybody else.


Miss lorress.

I understand the embassy

couldn't help you.

Will you help me?

How anxious

are you to go?

Very, or i wouldn't

have come back.

I try not

to get sentimental.

I run a business.

The fee

for my services

is $1,000,

payable in advance.

I haven't the money.

As i say, i try not to get sentimental,

but sometimes-

if i had $1,000,

you wouldn't expect

all of it here.

It would be

torn in half

to ensure

good faith?

Good faith

on both sides.

You said

you'd take me

to charleston,

south carolina.

When i get there, i

may be able to pay you.

Trusting a woman

as beautiful as yourself

is very sentimental.

How can i be sure of you in charleston?

Good faith.

In view of

the circumstances,

the arrangements will take

less time than i anticipated.


Nothing has changed.

The same in havana as

it is in paris or vienna.

Allow me.

If you'll be

good enough to wait.



Hit by a taxi.

I couldn't get

the half bill.

The police.

I tried, but-

but we may

be visited.

New york cops. How they gonna

figure a havana connection?

Don't underestimate.

We all leave tracks

to our past.

Not me.

Questions might

be asked.

Would i have to tell the

truth when i answered?

Again, you


A shrewd man

never asks questions

until he has gathered enough information

to be able to distinguish

between lies and truth.

There's a mr. Gombush in the cafe.

There is no reason

to assume

that he is anything more

than he claims to be.

I think, however,

something more

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Howard Dimsdale

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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