The Lady Has Plans (1942)

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The Lady Has Plans (1942) Poster

Some dastardly criminals have stolen some top secret plans and tattoo them on the back of a woman so she can sell them to the highest bidder in Lisbon. This woman plans to take the place of... See full summary »


6.8/10
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6 May 2016 | csteidler
6
| Modest spy comedy with attractive leads, amusing story
Cub reporter Paulette Goddard is sent to Lisbon, where she is assigned to work under a fiery news service editor who has a reputation for scaring off one reporter after another. It's not too surprising when we see that said editor is Ray Milland; he is indeed a bit of a grump but—again not too surprising—before long he and his new reporter are working together fine.

The "plans" in the movie's title have been etched in invisible ink across the back of a spy whose original scheme called for her to usurp Goddard's place in the Lisbon hotel and then sell the plans to the highest bidder. Roland Young is lots of fun as a British agent dispatched to the hotel to acquire the plans; his counterpart is Albert Dekker, leading a gang of Nazis who must have the plans themselves. Of course, Goddard is confused and annoyed when her hotel neighbors immediately start asking to take a look at her back.

The plot is clever if nothing spectacular—it moves along fast and builds to a rather exciting climax involving a daring escape and a phone booth.

Also of note, I thought—this picture was made right toward the end of that two year period during which Europe was at war but the U.S. wasn't in it yet. Our heroes' sympathies are certainly with the Brits here, but the American patriotism isn't over the top; starting right about the time this movie hit the theaters—January of 1942— Hollywood movies took on a much more aggressive part in the war effort. The Nazis portrayed here are bad guys, but they're not quite as purely evil as they soon would be.

Overall, it's pleasant rather than profound. Milland and Goddard make a good team, and they both look great too.

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