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Escape in the Fog

Escape in the Fog(1945)

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Eilene Carr has a nightmare in which she is strolling along the Golden Gate Bridge on a foggy San Francisco night when a cab pulls over, three men jump out and two of them poise a knife at the other's throat. Eilene screams, and at the Rustic Dell Inn, outside of San Francisco, her shrieks bring the innkeeper and Barry Malcolm, a guest, rushing into her room to awaken her from her nightmare. Once she is alert, Eilene recognizes Barry as the intended murder victim in her dream. At breakfast the next morning, Eilene tells Barry that she is recuperating from shock suffered when the hospital ship on which she was serving as a nurse was sunk during battle. Barry is mysterious about his work, but when he receives a phone call directing him to a meeting in San Francisco that afternoon, he asks Eilene to accompany him into the city. George Smith, a man in the hotel lobby, overhears Barry's conversation and notifies Schiller, the owner of the Golden Gate watch repair shop in San Francisco about Barry's plans. Upon reaching the city, Barry visits his contact, Paul Devon, the leader of a group of government undercover agents. After informing Barry that he is being sent to Hong Kong to coordinate an underground group there, Devon tells him that an agent will pick him up in a taxi cab at his hotel at 10:30 that night and hands him a top secret pouch containing the names of double agents operating in Japan. After Barry leaves Devon's house, Schiller rings the doorbell and gains admittance by claiming that he has come to adjust Devon's grandfather clock. When Devon's butler leaves the room, Schiller opens the back of the clock and removes a small recording cyclinder that he had previously placed there. Upon returning to his shop, Schiller and Smith listen to Barry's recorded conversation and learn his misson. Resolving to gain possession of the list of double agents, the spies trace Barry to the Cumberland Hotel. After dining at the Caravan Club that night, Barry tells Eilene that he must leave on a mission and asks her to wait for him in the hotel lobby while he goes to his room to retrieve his suitcase. When Barry disappears into the elevator, Smith calls the hotel doorman and, pretending to be Barry, instructs him to send the man waiting out front in the cab to his room and dismiss the taxi. The vehicle departs, and another taxi driven by one of the spies replaces it in front of the hotel. After Barry drives away in the cab, Eilene is overcome by a strange sensation and stumbles into the street, where she is knocked down by an oncoming car. The blow to her head causes Eilene to recall the nightmare images of Barry's peril, and she hurries to Devon's house. Devon refuses to take Eilene's premonition seriously until the agent calls from the hotel informing him that Barry is missing. Hurrying to the bridge, the site of her nightmare, Eilene watches as a cab pulls over and three men jump out. Eilene screams, and a nearby guard runs to her rescue. When the guard appears, two of the men hop back into the cab and speed away, leaving Barry, who has thrown the pouch into the water, behind. The harbor patrol is unable to locate the pouch, but, Eilene recalls hearing a boat pass beneath the bridge. Thinking that the packet may have landed on the deck of the boat, Barry querries the port director, who denies that a ship was in the vicinity that night. In reality, an experimental Navy ship passed under the bridge, but the director lacks the authority to divulge that information. While Barry calls an agent friend for help in locating the ship, Smith, who has followed him to the office of the Port Authority, deduces that the packet may have fallen onto a passing ship and notifies Schiller. To insure the return of the pouch, Schiller places an advertisement in the classifieds offering a reward for it. Meanwhile, Barry receives a message from his friend, directing him to a boat docked in the Half Moon Bay harbor. After giving Eilene the note for safekeeping, Barry proceeds to the harbor. While waiting Barry's return, Eileen reads the paper and, noticing the ad, telephones the interested party and is directed to Schiller's shop. There she is taken captive, and when Schiller finds the note with the ship's name on it, he calls the Half Moon Bay harbor police. Impersonating the director of the Port Authority, Schiller orders a messenger to deliver the package to the office in San Francisco. Soon after, Barry arrives at the harbor, and when he learns that the pouch is enroute to San Francisco, he orders the messenger intercepted. When Barry returns to his hotel room that night, he finds a note demanding the packet in exchange for Eilene's life and directing him to Chinatown. Meanwhile, at the Devon house, Devon notices that his grandfather clock has stopped and finds the recording device hidden in the back. Devon proceeds to Schiller's repair shop in Chinatown while Smith escorts Barry at gunpoint to the same shop. After procuring the pouch, Schiller and Smith chain Barry to a table, turn on the gas and leave him and the bound Eilene to perish in the impending explosion. Seizing a jeweler's magnifiying glass, Barry cleverly pens "hail Japan" on it, holds it to a window and illuminates it with his lighter. Angered by the slogan, some passing Chinese smash the window just as Devon and the police arrive. To avoid the police dragnet, Smith and Schiller separate and accidentally shoot each other in the fog. Later, Barry and Eilene return to the bridge and embrace.