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A U.S. Marine recovering from a combat injury in a Navy hospital in Hawaii suffers from undiagnosed amnesia, and while others call him George Taylor, he has no memory of that man. Upon recovery from his wounds, George is transferred to the hospital at Camp Pendleton, California, and is eventually discharged, even though he still has no memory. He returns to his old civilian address at the Martin Hotel in Los Angeles, but no one recognizes him there. At Union Station, he exchanges a bag check he found in his sea bag for a briefcase, which contains a gun and a three-year-old letter to a man named George stating that $5,000 has been deposited for him in a bank account by Larry Cravat. George goes to the bank, but the officials ask him too many questions and he leaves abruptly. The owner of the Elite Baths, from where Cravat wrote the letter, tells George he does not know Cravat but suggests that he check at a nearby nightclub, The Cellar. There, a bartender tips off two thugs that someone is asking about Cravat. While trying to lose the thugs, George enters the club's rear premises and ends up in singer Christy Smith's dressing room. George finds an old postcard to Christy from "Mary," stating that she will soon be Mrs. Larry Cravat. Back at his hotel, George is approached by a woman called Phyllis, who tries to pick him up. The bartender then phones him with instructions to return to the club for new information. When George gets there, he finds the club closed, but encounters a Mr. Anzelmo, who has him roughed up and warns him to stop looking for Cravat, then dumps him at Christy's place. Christy tells George that Mary, her best friend, was stood up by Cravat on her wedding day and was later reported killed while crossing a street. After George tells Christy his story, The Cellar's owner, Mel Phillips, stops by with the news that the bartender has been found dead in a vacant lot. Phillips suggests that a police friend, Lt. Donald Kendall, might be able to help George and arranges a meeting with him. Kendall reveals that Cravat was a private detective and, at the time of his disappearance, was in possession of $2,000,000 that had been smuggled out of Nazi Germany. George then receives an anonymous note, which leads him to a fortune-teller near Terminal Dock, where he encounters Anzelmo and Phyllis. Anzelmo informs George that Cravat is wanted by the police for a murder that took place on the dock three years previously. Anzelmo offers to provide evidence clearing Cravat of the murder in exchange for a considerable amount of money and suggests that George may have been involved in the murder and could be the "fall guy." Later, Christy tells Phillips that George has gone to see Michael Conroy, a witness to the dock murder, and adds that she is "nuts" about George. Conroy's daughter Elizabeth tells George that her father had an accident three years ago and has been confined to the Lambeth Sanitarium ever since. On leaving Elizabeth, George is almost run down by a truck, but eventually gains access to the sanitarium. George arrives to find Conroy has been stabbed, but before he dies, Conroy tells him that one of the killers dropped a suitcase which he, Conroy, hid under the dock. Christy and George recover the suitcase, which contains the $2,000,000 and an item of clothing with a tag indicating that it was made for Larry Cravat by "W. George-Tailor." George now thinks that perhaps he is Cravat and hid out with the Marines under the name George Taylor. Christy doubts George's theory, but when he asks her to read a letter he found in his wallet while he was hospitalized, she recognizes the handwriting as Mary's. They are then surprised by someone who shoots at them, but escape to a nearby mission, where they ask the director to deliver the suitcase to Lt. Kendall while they go to see Anzelmo. After George tries to convince Anzelmo and Phyllis that he is Cravat and that his face was altered as a result of the war wound, Phillips shows up and is surprised to learn that George is Cravat. When Anzelmo tries to frame Phyllis for the murder on the dock, she pulls a gun on them, but Phillips gets control of the weapon and he, Christy and George leave for The Cellar. Phillips then reveals that he is the killer and had arranged to pick up the $2,000,000 from a Mr. Steel, but Cravat heard about it, convinced Steel that he was Phillips and got the money. When Phillips arrived, Steel was alone and Phillips, thinking Steel had double-crossed him, killed him. George tells Phillips that they have recovered the money and offers him the suitcase in exchange for Christy's freedom. They return to the mission, where Lt. Kendall and his men have set up a stakeout, and Kendall shoots Phillips. At the police station, Kendall congratulates George for helping to solve the murder. His past restored, George and Christy then leave together.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||Los Angeles opening: 1 Jun 1946|
|Release Date:||1946||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.|
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User Ratings & Review
el debbo 2015-06-16
I have a college degree, but this rapid-fire script/ story was just too hard to follow... and 'Mank' didn't get the best out of Hodiak in...
Highly enjoyable, well made, mildly flawed noir
Andrew S. 2013-09-02
Mystery, suspense tale of returning WWII vet with amnesia, who in his past, may have been involved in crime and murder, but now is sterling fellow. Pluses...
Suspenseful Film Noir!
Steve S. 2009-07-21
JOSEPH L. MANKIEWICZ's fine script and direction takes us along with John Hodaik who is just out of the service and suffering from amnesia - is Hodiak...