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Squadron Leader X (1943)
Radio's popular quiz show on the screen with the same cast of experts - John Kieran, Franklin P. Adams, and Oscar Levant - Clifton Fadiman as master of ceremonies and Howard Lindsay, noted author and actor, as guest expert, in an entertaining battle of wit and wisdom.
"Squadron Leader X" 9 REELS Eric Portman Plays Nazi Pilot Trapped in
London; Ann Dvorak Returns to Screen
in Brilliant Role Opposite Him
A dramatic story of intrigue and romance with a background of the present war, RKO Radio's "Squadron Leader X" comes to the .... Theatre on .... with Eric Portman and Ann Dvorak in the co-starring roles.
The film is essentially the portrait of a Nazi airman groomed by the Nazi propagandists as an "ace," who beneath the veneer of his arrogance has a cowardly streak which asserts itself when he has the greatest need of courage and spirit.
Portman, as the flyer, takes part in a faked raid on civil objectives in Belgium organized in an effort to break pro-British sentiment among the native population. Parachuting from his plane in a British uniform, and with a perfect command of English, he tells the Belgiums [sic] that the raid was specifically ordered by the R.A.F. on non-military targets.
To his amazement, the patriots hide him and arrange for his immediate transportation to Britain. Afraid to reveal his true identity, he eventually finds himself in London, his movements in the meantime arousing the forces of the British Intelligence Service.
Frantic, he endeavours to contact his former fiancee in the metropolis. Now married to a British doctor, she agrees under blackmailing threats to assist the Nazi pilot in escaping to Germany.
The Nazis, afraid he will divulge their secrets if captured, order their agent in Britain to dispose of the flyer. Meanwhile, the girl, despite the threat of internment, finds herself unable to help the Nazi and gives M.I.5 the information that will lead to his apprehension. With the net slowly closing around him, Portman prepares for a quick escape to Ireland.
How he manages to reach a British airfield, steal a plane, get chased by British Hurricanes, leads to his meeting over midchannel with Messerschmitts, who believe him to be a British flyer, and finally his ironic death at German hands.
Against this dramatic series of events, the story develops the romance of the girl and her husband, adding considerably to the entertainment.
Ann Dvorak plays the girl. Walter Fitzgerald is an Intelligence Officer, Henry Oscar is a German agent, Martin millar and Beatrice Varley are two innocent pawns of the Germans in Britain, and Barry Jones is the doctor husband. All are featured in "Squadron Leader X."
Lance Comfort directed under the production guidance of Victor Hanbury, Emeric Pressburger wrote the original story, which Wolfgang Wilhelm adapted for the screen.
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