Joe Smith, American (1942)

Passed   |    |  Drama

Joe Smith, American (1942) Poster

Joe Smith is an average American citizen, working in an aircraft factory. He has access to the plans for a new bomb-sight and is kidnapped by enemy agents who unsuccessfully torture him to ... See full summary »


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1 win.

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5 November 2010 | Doylenf
| Robert Young stars as patriotic American who knows how to keep secrets...
This is an exceptionally well-written and directed B-film from MGM directed in crisp, tense style by RICHARD THORPE.

ROBERT YOUNG is at his most affable best as a typical young man of the '40s era who is sought by the government to work on plans for a new bomb-sight design which he must keep top secret. Spies kidnap him and it's while he's being held hostage that he forces himself to remember how he met his wife (MARSHA HUNT) and there are a series of homespun scenes with Young and his son, DARRYL HICKMAN.

But even though loaded with flashbacks, Thorpe keeps the action and suspense alive by cutting back and forth between those scenes and clips of his brutal torture by the spies. Fortunately, he keeps his wits about him and is able to recall various things about the hiding place and his captors that help the FBI capture them in the end. A clever series of incidents leads to the manner in which he's able to lead them to the hideout.

Well done in crisp style with Robert Young and Marsha Hunt making an attractive pair in the leading roles. Darryl Hickman is effective as the son who has a secret of his own that he's unwilling to tell.

Well worth watching as a bit of American propaganda at the outset of WWII.

Did You Know?


At one point in pre-production, Van Heflin was cast as the male lead in this film.


America, My Country Tis of Thee
(1832) (uncredited)
Music by
Lowell Mason, based on the melody from "God Save the Queen" by Henry Carey (1744)
Lyrics by Samuel Francis Smith (1832)
In the score during the opening credits
Sung a cappella by the school children


Plot Summary



Box Office


$236,000 (estimated)

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