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  • Dynamic reciprocity nor nude dancing could save this one. It was, though, at least semi-entertaining. Allan "Rocky" Lane and Robert Barrat were stalwart cowboy stars most of their careers in "B" movies, but on occasion they escaped the dusty trails for the spotlight in many other endeavors. This one has them in a Land of Convoluted Escapes and Escapades in a place that may or may not be pre war Germany or Spain. In fact, it could also be Italy. At least, I think we can be sure it is a fascist regime with none of them able to burst into a song like "Springtime for Hitler" or "Home on the Range".

    Yes, the camera work was above the usual "B" status and the director, one, good old "B" movie master Lew Landers who made everything from pot boilers to brain numbing rubbish here shows he had a fairly deft hand when dealing with " rah, rah, zis-boom-bah" get yer blood pumping and flag waving arms up in the air! He knew how to make audiences believe the Fascisties were the bad guys they really were. And in the end, when the audience thought all was right with the world, he made us know there are those who would be free and those who would stay behind to continue the fight.

    There was a huge, glaring error though, in all this folderol; namely, there were two short scenes with the terrific character actor Dwight Frye, but he does not speak a word and just seems to nod to a radio. Yet he is dressed as one of the miscreants. Why is he even shown when he says nothing and does nothing? What is the point of including him? Of course, there is no answer and we are just made to wonder.

    Yeah, its an OK time waster, but not much else. And now, I leave you.
  • Caught in a seafaring gunfight, handsome American radio broadcaster Allan Lane (as Steve Kendall) discovers he's on a ship smuggling illegal cargo. Secret agents decide to eliminate Mr. Lane, but he jumps ship and swims to safety. Luckily, Lane meets beautiful nightclub singer Linda Hayes (as Nedra Carlson) as soon as he hits shore. Shot trying to get away, Ms. Hayes' brother was on the same ship as Lane. Small world. Hayes decides to let Lane stay, as government revolutionaries close in on him. There are times when director Lew Landers, photographer Frank Redman and the RKO crew strike a nice visual tone with "Conspiracy". However, most of the time it looks thoughtless and hasty. Lane and Hayes are a very attractive couple; but they are unable to show much desire, either for each other or the roles. Worst of all, the story isn't just mysterious; it's muddled.

    **** Conspiracy (1939-08-01) Lew Landers ~ Allan Lane, Linda Hayes, Robert Barrat, Charley Foy
  • Cowboy Star Allan "Rocky" Lane seems Uncomfortable Without a Horse and is at the Receiving End of One of the Stiffest Screen Kisses You're likely to see. Every so Often He Flashes an "Aw-Shucks" Smile and then the Movie returns to Dead Serious.

    It's a Lively Pre-War Caution about a Merchant Ship Sailing into the Water of a Fictional Country (that is never named), a Hybrid of Italy-Spain-Germany.

    "You call that concentration camp over there a Country?", the Captain Asks. Rocky States..."This isn't a Country it's a prison.", to Linda Hays, the Pretty Songbird/Rebel that is Helping Him out.

    This is an Interesting Movie in Hindsight. It Moves quickly and there is a lot of Action and Interaction, Gunplay, Fisticuffs, Chases, and Intrigue throughout its narely One Hour Running Time. It has a "Casablanca" Ending.

    Overall, an Above Average, totally Forgotten B-Movie but RKO manages some Good Photography, Blistering Pacing, and a Suspenseful Story. One does Notice, however, this is a Good Example why Allan "Rocky" Lane Rarely Got Off His Horse and/or Rode Into another Genre.
  • boblipton11 October 2012
    This is a visually stunning but muddily written spy thriller. Within the first minute, the question arises: when the spy wants to send a coded message, he sets the radio to the correct channel, holds a gun on the radio operator and tells him that he know Morse Code.... so why not just slug the operator and send the message himself? It took me two viewings to begin to make any sense of the story and the second viewing was interrupted by thoughts like this. Alan Lane spends the entire movie confused and I don't blame him. It looks to me as if they were trying to do a Graham Greene movie, not realizing that Greene's work is always about moral confusion, not situational confusion. Oh, well.

    The cinematography is quite lovely, but then this is the fourth RKO movie I've thought that about and discovered the DP was Frank Redman. The man started in the silents and worked through the 1960s, with over a hundred episodes of PERRY MASON -- and that was some good-looking television work. It seems to be movies like this that kept him in the Bs, though if you can find BAD LANDS -- a western he photographed in 1939 -- you'll see this one is no fluke. There's plenty of proto-Film Nor shadows in this one.

    Still, this is one that, despite the lovely pictures and what sounds like a German version of "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You", I would avoid.