Man at Large


1h 10m 1941

Brief Synopsis

G-Man Bob Grayson (George Reeves) is working hand in hand with a British Intelligence agent to uncover an espionage plot, who is posing as an escaped Nazi agent. Reporter Dallas Davis (Marjorie Weaver) mistakes Grayson for a nazi-sympathizer and manages to mess up the works before she learns the truth. She and Grayson join forces to save the agent.

Film Details

Also Known As
Finders Keepers, Twenty One Whistlers
Release Date
Sep 26, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,250ft (7 reels)

Synopsis

On the night Nazi ace pilot Col. Max von Rohn escapes from a Canadian military prison, Mr. Grundy, the editor of the New York Guardian , prepares a lead story about the incident. Also in the newsroom is bumbling receptionist Dallas Gilmartin, who pesters Grundy to make her a photographer. Dallas is confronted by two visitors: Bob Grayson, who is seeking a reporter job, and Hans Brinker, who insists on seeing Grundy to reveal his forced participation in a ring of German spies operating in America. While Dallas tells Grundy about the men, Brinker is shot by an unknown assailant, but before he dies, he asks Bob to tell the world about the "21 Whistlers." Bob flees before Hans's death is discovered, and Dallas incorrectly concludes that he is the killer. When FBI chief Ed Ruby interrogates Dallas and Grundy, Grundy decides to get Dallas out of his hair by sending her on a wild goose chase in search of von Rohn. Dallas goes to an auto camp near the Canadian border and does find von Rohn, who appears to be working with Bob. By whistling Edvard Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King," von Rohn makes contact with another spy, Gallon, the auto camp owner. Gallon gives von Rohn the name of his contact in New York, but is killed soon afterward. Von Rohn escapes, and despite Dallas' attempt to detain Bob, Bob also leaves for New York. Desperate for a lead, Dallas becomes interested in a magazine story C. B. Haldane, "A Nazi Ace in the U.S.A.," which she found in von Rohn's room. The story appears to mirror von Rohn's movements, even though it was written several months earlier. Dallas suspects that the spies are using the story to contact each other, and so she interviews the author, who is actually Charles Botany, a blind economist. Unknown to Dallas, Botany and his secretary, Mr. Sartoris, are the leaders of the "21 Whistlers," which organizes German attacks on British supply ships. Dallas is also unaware that Bob is an FBI agent who is helping the British intelligence agent posing as von Rohn to infiltrate the spy ring. Dallas inadvertently leads Botany to von Rohn, and the British agent is captured. After von Rohn's capture, Bob finally convinces Dallas of his true identity, but she, still believing that Botany is trying to help her, tells him that Bob is with the FBI. After a series of further contacts with other members of the spy ring, Dallas and Bob realize that Botany and Sartoris are the spies' leaders. After escaping from Sartoris, who has attempted to kidnap Dallas, Bob and Dallas go to Botany's house. There Botany shoots and wounds Bob, despite his blindness, then Bob captures Botany, and, while other FBI agents arrive and get the rest of the gang, frees the British agent. The pair assure Dallas that thanks to her help, England will be able to protect its latest convoy of supply ships, and Bob rewards her with a kiss.

Film Details

Also Known As
Finders Keepers, Twenty One Whistlers
Release Date
Sep 26, 1941
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 10m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,250ft (7 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Finders Keepers, 21 Whistlers and Nazi Ace in the USA. A January 24, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Nancy Kelly was originally slated for the female lead in the picture. Hollywood Reporter production charts incorrectly list Sol Wurtzel as the film's producer. According to studio publicity, the picture was inspired by the real-life exploits of Baron Franz von Werra, a German pilot who was shot down over England in September 1940. In mid-January 1941, von Werra and other German soldiers were taken to Canada to be held in a military prison camp. Von Werra escaped from the transport train and crossed the St. Lawrence River to reach Ogdensburg, NY on January 24, 1941, when he was apprehended by U.S. police. After being freed on bail, the German pilot fled the United States in early Apr, stopped briefly in Peru, then returned to Germany. In October 1941, it was announced that he had been fatally wounded. Studio publicity also asserted that the film was similar to a recent case in which the FBI arrested a group of twenty-nine Axis spies. Included in the group were a writer, a watchmaker and the operator of an auto court, as depicted in the film. The Motion Picture Daily review applauded the picture's representation of current events, saying "with the papers fairly popping with news of one of the greatest spy hunts in the nation's history, and accounts from the trials exceeding in actuality the most fantastic devices employed by spies in any melodrama, it is hard to find a film more timely." According to the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the picture was rejected for distribution in Ireland, although no reason for the action was listed in the file. Man at Large was the first American film of Czechoslovakian actor Steve Geray.