The House on 92nd Street

Synopsis: Preface: a stentorian narrator tells us that the USA was flooded with Nazi spies in 1939-41. One such tries to recruit college grad Bill Dietrich, who becomes a double agent for the FBI. While Bill trains in Hamburg, a street-accident victim proves to have been spying on atom-bomb secrets; conveniently, Dietrich is assigned to the New York spy ring stealing these secrets. Can he track down the mysterious "Christopher" before his ruthless associates unmask and kill him?
Director(s): Henry Hathaway
Production: Twentieth Century Fox
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
88 min

Vigilant, tireless, implacable.

The most silent service

of the United States in peace or war... the Federal Bureau

of Investigation.

The Bureau went to war with Germany

long before hostilities began.

No word or picture

could then make public...

...the crucial war service of the FBI.

But now it can be told.

In 1939, with thousands

of known and suspected enemy agents...

...invading the Americas...

...the FBI started building up its force

of special agents and employees...

...from 2000 to a war peak of 15,000.

Before being sent into the field,

each new agent had to learn...

...all the modern techniques

of crime detection...

...such as the use of a specially treated

x- ray mirror...

...through which an FBI man

can see without being seen.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation

had to be the world's...

...most efficient intelligence

and counterespionage service.

For war is thought,

and thought is information.

And he who knows most

strikes hardest.

By examining the intercepted mail

of unsuspecting Nazi agents...

...the FBI uncovered many

secret channels of communication.

Between the lines

of an innocent-appearing letter...

...invisibly coded

in an obsolete German shorthand...

...were important instructions

for one group of spies.

The Bureau's infinitely

painstaking system...

...of sifting and recording every scrap

of potential information...

...paid handsome dividends.

The FBI was adding new names

to its long list of Germans...

...known to be dangerous.

And each day, as fresh investigated

reports came in from the field...

...FBI officials saw more clearly...

...the pattern of German espionage

in the United States.

Nucleus of the Nazi network

in America...

...was the German Embassy

in Washington...

...protected, until a declaration of war,

by diplomatic immunity.

Long before December 7th, 1941,

from a vantage point nearby...

...G-men photographed the actions

of hundreds of suspects.

These are the actual films

taken by the FBI.

They gave Director Hoover

and his men a daily record...

...and description

of all embassy visitors.

This continuous

photographic surveillance...

...provided a permanent record

to be studied intensively...

...whenever new developments

took place.

The Bureau soon discovered

that the embassy was being used... disperse money for subversive

activity in the United States.

The Bureau also knew that the embassy

had a short-wave radio...

...and was in direct communication

with Germany.

No one was watched more closely

by the FBI...

...than the arrogant

Baron Ulrich von Gienanth.

Although accredited

as an embassy official...

...he was actually chief

of the German Gestapo in America.

Equally important were pompous

Vice Admiral Witthoeft-Emden...

...and his suave assistant,

Helmut Raeuber...

...experts in obtaining information

about ships and cargoes.

Dr. Hans Thomsen,

the German charg d'affaires...

...tried to win American collaborators.

So did his associate,

General Karl Boetischer.

Parading before hidden FBI cameras

were the embassy secretaries.

These girls spent evenings

in the company of American servicemen.

They were having fun...

...but they were also diligently

accumulating information for Germany.

The FBI watched them discreetly,

knew all about them.

By relentless surveillance

of embassy officials...

...and all those

with whom they associated...

...the FBI learned that Germany

was recruiting American Nazis...

...for its espionage service.

In 1939, Nazi fronts, like Fritz Kuhn...

...and his German-American Bund,

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Barré Lyndon

Barré Lyndon (pseudonym of Alfred Edgar) (12 August 1896 – 23 October 1972) was a British playwright and screenwriter. The pseudonym was presumably taken from the title character of Thackeray's novel. Born in London, he may be best remembered for three screenplays from the 1940s: The Lodger (1944), Hangover Square (1945) and The Man in Half Moon Street (1945). The latter was remade by Hammer Film Productions in 1959 as The Man Who Could Cheat Death. Lyndon began his writing career as a journalist, particularly about motor-racing, and short-story writer before becoming a playwright. His first play, The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, was made into an Edward G. Robinson film in 1939. After that success, Lyndon moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1941 to concentrate on writing for films full time. He was naturalised as a United States citizen in the United States District Court in Los Angeles as Alfred Edgar Barre Lyndon in 1952. Alfred Edgar had two sons, Roger Alvin Edgar (b. England, 1924) and Barry Davis Edgar (b. England, 1929) . more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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