Cast & Crew
B. Reaves Eason
On December 1, 1941, isolationist flyer Pamela Mitchell broadcasts a speech against United States' involvement in the war in Europe. Encoded in her speech is vital information that will be used by the Nazis to destroy ships carrying supplies to England. Later, at a nightclub, Pam's major opponent, newspaper columnist Ward Prescott, meets with insurance investigator Ernie Haskell. Despite his suspicions about Pam, Ward is in love with her half-sister Sue. When Sue and Pam enter the nightclub, accompanied by Gordon Morrel, the manager of their father's insurance company, Ward and Ernie join them. Ernie asks Gordon to join him in investigating the ship sinkings on which both of their companies must pay insurance claims. After quarreling with Pam, Ward asks Sue and Ernie to accompany him to his office, where he demonstrates that Pam's broadcasts coincide with the dates of Axis submarine attacks. Skeptical at first, Sue and Ernie are convinced when someone shoots at Ward from outside his office window. Meanwhile, Gordon drives Pam to a meeting, and before he drops her off, receives payment for shipping information he has delivered to her. The next morning, after a visit from Ernie, Gordon begs Pam, with whom he is in love, to drop her espionage efforts, and Pam assuages his fears with a kiss. Later, Harry Mitchell, Pam and Sue's father, asks Martin Oster, who heads the Liberty Committee, an organization opposed to Pam's views, to speak to his daughter. Pam agrees to talk to Oster, and when they are alone in the car, professes her love for him. Two years earlier, pretending to love Pam, Oster recruited her as a Nazi spy. Using the Liberty Committee as a front, he has continued his work. Now, he plans to marry and demands that Pam return the letters he wrote to her. Pam is furious and promises to reveal his true purpose if he marries another woman. Unknown to Pam and Oster, Sue has alerted Ward to their meeting, and curious, he and Ernie follow them to the waterfront. They lose the trail, however, when Pam and Oster board a Danish ship docked in the harbor. On board, Pam learns that the Japanese plan to bomb an American city the following day. That evening, Sue hears a noise in Pam's room, and thinking that it is her sister, goes to investigate. She finds no one, but then discovers Pam's car in the garage. The following morning, her concerns about Pam are momentarily interrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. She does tell Ward about Pam's disappearance, however, and as soon as possible he comes to her aid. Drake, the butler, tells Ward that Pam sent a letter to Gordon the previous night. Before Ward leaves for Gordon's home, he finds Pam's body in the trunk of her car. Without telling Sue of his discovery, he rushes to Gordon's, where he finds him dead, having committed suicide after Pam broke off their engagement. Meanwhile, Sue receives a telegram that purports to be from Pam, asking her to bring to an export company the envelope that Pam left with her the previous night. When Ward learns this, he summons the police and hurries to the office. There, clues reveal that Sue has been taken to the Danish ship. At the ship, a shootout ensues and the spies are overcome. Later, Ward expresses his sympathy for Pam's death, but Sue responds that had she lived, it might have meant the death of thousands of Americans.
B. Reaves Eason
George Dyer's novel was also the basis of the 1934 Warner Bros. film Fog Over Frisco, directed by William Dieterle and starring Margaret Lindsay and Bette Davis (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1413)