The Argyle Secrets


1h 3m 1948

Film Details

Release Date
May 7, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Eronel Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Film Classics, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the radio play "The Argyle Album" by Cyril Endfield on Suspense (CBS, 13 Dec 1945).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Film Length
5,772ft

Synopsis

Allen Pierce, an important newspaper columnist who has been working on an exposé of Nazi sympathizers, is in a Washington hospital when he is visited by reporter Harry Mitchell. After Pierce entrusts Harry with a photocopy of the cover of the Argyle Album, which contains the names of the conspirators, Pierce dies suddenly and a steel scalpel is found sticking in his chest. Harry is suspected of having murdered him and becomes a fugitive from the law. In order to clear himself, he attempts to find the album but several international blackmailers are after it as well and believe he has it. Marla, one of a group of blackmailers led by a Mr. Winter, is assigned to follow Harry, and he is severely beaten by her henchmen, even though he is unaware of the contents of the album and does not know where it is. Later, Marla tells Harry about the history of the album and its list of important Nazi conspirators and adds that Winter wants the album in order to blackmail the traitors. After Marla allows him to escape, Harry's investigations lead him to a marine salvage business run by a fence, Jor McBrod, who had found the original incriminating evidence and had taken it to Pierce in the hope of obtaining a payoff. McBrod threatens Harry, but Panama, one of the blackmailers, comes to his rescue by shooting McBrod, who then kills Panama. Harry decides to turn himself in to the police, but Lt. Samuel Samson informs him that they have a new suspect, the doctor who was in charge of Pierce's case. An autopsy has revealed that Pierce died of heart failure due to a drug overdose and was already dead when stabbed. Marla agrees to help Harry look for the album but her former boss, Winter, and his assistant Gil catch up with him. As Winter is one of the men exposed in the album as having committed treason during the war, he paid Pierce's doctor to kill Pierce. To save his own life, Harry says that he has the album with him, then is able to turn Gil's allegiance away from Winter. Winter shoots Gil, but Gil manages to strangle him before he dies. After Harry recovers the album from Pierce's secretary, Elizabeth Court, to whom McBrod had mailed it before he knew Pierce was dead, Marla then makes an unsuccessful attempt to get the album away from him at gunpoint. Harry, however, outwits her and plans to publish the album's contents as a tribute to Pierce.

Film Details

Release Date
May 7, 1948
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Eronel Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Film Classics, Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the radio play "The Argyle Album" by Cyril Endfield on Suspense (CBS, 13 Dec 1945).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 3m
Film Length
5,772ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Cyril Endfield's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by Cyril Endfield." According to a February 29, 1948 New York Times article, producers Samuel X. Abarbanel and Alan H. Posner budgeted the film at $125,000 and, with the guarantee of a release from Film Classics, obtained a standard production loan of seventy percent of the budget from the Bank of America, contingent upon their raising the additional thirty percent. By deferring payment of some salaries and the laboratory and studio charges, and obtaining small personal loans, the producers were able to make up the remaining $37,500. The film was shot in eight days and came in $12,000 under budget. Early cast lists indicate that Jonathan Hale was to have played "Winter."