Cast & Crew
During a stop in Istanbul, American government agent Larry Wilson, masquerading as a tourist cruise ship pianist, learns that attractive passenger Lynette Garay is remaining behind in the city. Lynette makes a scheduled rendezvous with Pierre, henchman for black marketeer and criminal Hassan. Hassan hires Lynette to take the place of nightclub dancer Marie Coureau, known throughout the Middle East as The Flame of Stamboul, in order to ingratiate herself with Ahmed Raschin, son of a wealthy diplomat. Assured that no harm will come to Marie, Lynette goes along with the plan and that night, begins dancing as The Flame at a club frequented by Ahmed. Unknown to Lynette, Hassan has ordered Pierre to murder Marie with Lynette's own gun. The following day, Hassan arranges for Lynette to fly to Cairo, where Ahmed has gone, to perform at Hassan's nightclub, the Café Sahara. The cruise ship has also docked in Cairo, and feigning drunkenness, Larry stumbles into the Sahara to see The Flame's act. When Larry forces the stage's pianist aside, Hassan orders his bartender Joe to drug his next drink. After Larry passes out, Joe takes him to a back alley, where informant Louis Barraca observes them. Later, Joe drags Larry to his room and upon rousing him, reveals his identity as another American agent and Larry's contact. Larry explains their mission is to identify and capture a master criminal known as The Voice. Joe indicates he has established a cover at the Sahara, believing Hassan's involvement in the black market could have connections to The Voice. After Joe returns to work, Larry discovers Barraca entering Joe's room and overpowers him. Barraca admits to recognizing Larry as the former policeman who had him deported from America for petty larceny years earlier. When Barraca suggests he may reveal Larry's identity as a government agent, Larry convinces him to work for him for a substantial sum and the promise of returning to America. Meanwhile, Hassan takes a blindfolded Lynette to meet The Voice, who remains behind bright lights and talks through a voice-distorting speaker. While The Voice outlines the plan to get to Ahmed's father and a rare set of jewels, Barraca is brought in to present his weekly list of new arrivals to the city. Barraca returns to Larry and Joe to reveal that The Flame of Stamboul is an imposter. Excited to learn of the connection between The Flame and The Voice, Larry demands that Barraca bring him the new arrival list first. At the Sahara, Larry fakes a fight with Joe, in order to force Hassan to give him a job as the club's piano player. Later that evening, as Lynette performs as The Flame, Larry goes through her purse in her dressing room and discovers her gun. He takes a roll of film and upon developing it, realizes Lynette's real identity. Larry has Barraca steal Lynette's gun, and takes the spent cartridge, then fills the remaining chambers with blanks before returning the gun. The next day, an informer for The Voice, posing as a beggar outside the U.S. consulate, photographs Joe leaving the building. Joe telephones Larry with the news that the cartridge from Lynette's gun has been matched to the bullet that killed Marie in Istanbul. When Joe returns to his room, he is met by Hassan and Pierre, and Hassan orders Pierre to learn the identities of Joe's accomplices. Barraca presents Larry with the list of arrivals and Larry recognizes the name of Sadik Raschin, Ahmed's father and a member of the Defense Council. Upon discovering Joe dead in his room, Larry is attacked by Pierre, whom he kills after a fight. Later, Hassan comes by the room and discovers Pierre's body, then searches for Larry. He overhears Larry talking to Lynette in her room, demanding to know why she is masquerading as The Flame and if she murdered Marie. Lynette confesses her involvement in the jewelry plot, but Larry insists the heist must be a cover for taking the defense plans for the Suez Canal, which Sadik is carrying. After Lynette volunteers to go through with a prearranged meeting with Ahmed, Hassan bursts in and knocks out Larry, but is prevented from murdering him by Lynette. Hassan takes Lynette and Larry to The Voice and Barraca follows, claiming to have brought the information that Joe and Pierre are dead. Hassan disarms Lynette, then accompanies her to the luncheon with Ahmed. Lynette pretends to drug Ahmed, as planned, and gives him a note asking him to pretend to be drugged and have them followed when they leave. Ahmed complies, then Lynette and Hassan take the jewelry box containing the plans. At The Voice's hideout, Barraca asks permission to kill Larry, as Lynette and Hassan return. With the theft completed, The Voice agrees and Barraca shoots Larry with Lynette's blank-filled gun. Larry uses the diversion to attack Hassan, take his gun and kill him and The Voice. Moments later, Sadik, Ahmed and the Cairo police arrive. Sadik presents Larry with his next assignment, and Larry asks if Lynette and Barraca might accompany him.
Information in the copyright file indicates that the film was released in sepia, but the print viewed was in black and white. A Los Angeles Times news item notes that Flame of Stamboul was based on a story by Ben Markson, but his contribution to the finished script, if any, has not been determined. The CBCS lists Nestor Paiva's character as "Willie," but he is referred to as "Joe" and "Joseph" throughout the film.