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Shoot First

Shoot First(1953)

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Remind Me

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After former U.S. Army colonel Robert Taine fires buckshot at Reimann, a suspected poacher on Taine's rented property in the English countryside, he discovers that Reimann has been mortally wounded. Unaware that a foreign spy named Hiart shot Reimann simultaneously, Bob blames himself for Reimann's death. When Bob encounters Hiart and his driver, Diss, who are surreptitiously looking for the body, neither admits to the shooting, and Bob later hides Reimann's body under a shrub. Later that night, Hiart's colleague, Magda Hassingham, discusses the incident with him. Magda's drunkard husband, the major landowner in the area, is ignorant of her involvement with enemy agents. Bob intends to bury Reimann the next day but when he returns to the site of the shooting, he unexpectedly encounters Peter Sandorski, a Polish operative for British military intelligence. Sandorski suspects that Bob killed his operative and now enlists his help with a secret operation. When British colonel Cartwright introduces Bob and his wife Cecily to government official Randall, Randall confirms Sandorski's identity and story and instructs Bob to cooperate with Sandorski. After Randall leaves, Bob confesses Reimann's accidental death to Cecily. That night Cecily insists on accompanying Bob and Sandorski to a nearby field where an enemy agent is expected to land by plane. While Cecily stays in the car, Bob and Sandorski observe Hiart, Magda and their assistants arrange landing beacons. When he overhears that the agent, identified as Lex, will be in town for only forty-eight hours, Sandorski decides to capture him. Sandorski and Bob re-route the plane's landing by moving a beacon, and Sandorski impersonates Hiart. Bob carries Lex to their car after the spy falls and hits his head, and Sandorski tosses grenades so they cannot be followed. While Bob and Cecily impersonate the Hassinghams, Sandorski drugs Lex so he will sleep. The next morning police investigate a fire caused by Sandorski's grenades, and Reimann's body is discovered during the investigation. Diss, meanwhile, attempts to locate Lex and learns about Bob and Cecily's unusual houseguests from their housekeeper's son, Tommy Powell. After police inspectors Matthews of Dorchester and Sullivan of Scotland Yard question Bob and take one of his boots to compare to the prints found near Reimann's body, Bob insists they all leave for London, where Lex has a meeting. On Bob's instruction, Mrs. Powell contacts Randall with a request to call off Scotland Yard. Hiart arrives in time to overhear her conversation and pursues them. Following a long drive, Bob, Cecily, Sandorski and Lex arrive at a train station where Randall makes contact with Cecily, who admits that Bob killed Reimann. While on the train to London, Cecily takes Lex's briefcase while he is asleep. Bob then meets Randall in a private compartment and, after bypassing a booby-trap, opens the briefcase and reviews the paperwork. At the London train station Hiart uses a broadcasting system to alert Lex, who then escapes with him. However, Randall and Sandorski arrest Lex the next day at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, after he passes an envelope to an unidentified spy. Lex and the spy are arrested, but Hiart and Diss flee. Sandorski shoots Diss during a pursuit in a stairwell, and Hiart is killed when he opens Lex's briefcase and it explodes. Randall later reveals to Bob and Cecily that Lex, a scientist, was brought to England to interpret stolen reports about British atomic weapons trials in Australia. He and Sullivan then inform a relieved Bob that it was Hiart who killed Reimann. Before departing, Sandorski cautions Cecily to remember that any future strange behavior of Bob's may be related to espionage.