As the US enters the conflict of WWII, a ring of Nazi spies works to uncover American research into the atomic bomb. The are based out of a dress shop at the house of the title, and they are infiltrated by double agent William Eythe. Will he uncover the traitor in the nuclear program before the Nazis uncover the traitor in their own midst?
This isn’t, properly speaking, a noir, something that the commentary itself points out, adding that this is, rather, the first of the pseudo-doc…mentary crime movies. Instead of the traditional noir low-key lighting, we get a flat, almost newsreel look, and the stentorian narrator is straight out of that medium as well. The film is an unapologetic hymn to the glories of the FBI, and can certainly be read as being about Communists just as much as it is Nazis, but damn, this thing is entertaining.
The usual 2.0 and mono options are here, and the 2.0 has the usual surround dialogue problems, though they aren’t too severe. There’s a bit of static in the background here and there, the odd bit of sibilance, and other blemishes to be expected of a sixty-year-old film, but the sound is always clear, for all that.
Some shots are grainier than others, but that certainly doesn’t hurt the documentary feel of the movie. The blacks are good, the image is sharp, and the print is almost completely free of damage.
Noir expert Eddie Muller’s commentary is informal, informative, and engaging. The reproduction of the press book is very cool, in that it allows one to zoom in on specific articles. The photo gallery is scored, and there’s the usual clutch of trailers for the Noir series. The menu is basic.
It may not fit the traditional definition of a noir, but it is recommended viewing all the same.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- Original Press Book
- Photo Gallery