19 December 2013 | kevinolzak
Dean Jagger and John Carradine
1943's "I Escaped from the Gestapo" was also issued under the more accurate title "No Escape," as the audience is left to feel just as trapped as Torgut Lane (Dean Jagger), confined in a small, windowless room in the back of a Los Angeles arcade run by Nazi agent Martin (John Carradine). This being a typical Poverty Row production from Monogram, we get a montage of stock footage depicting Lane's well-orchestrated prison break, so that he can use his counterfeiting skills forging bonds and passports on behalf of the Third Reich. Jagger never seems to be too worried about his predicament, and Carradine pretty much gives the same kind of detached performance he usually gave at Monogram ("Revenge of the Zombies," "Return of the Ape Man," "Voodoo Man," "Alaska," "The Face of Marble"). Carradine even lets loose with a mighty yawn in front of Jagger, and neither actor flinched (much). Among the stellar supporting cast we have, in one of her last roles, Mary Brian, best remembered as W. C. Fields' daughter in "Running Wild," "Two Flaming Youths," and "Man on the Flying Trapeze"; Sidney Blackmer and Ian Keith, very adept at playing villains (Carradine even named one of his sons after Keith); Spanky McFarland, at 14 not much taller than one would expect; and one single shot of Frances Farmer, originally cast in the Mary Brian role, who only returned to Hollywood in 1958. John Carradine and Dean Jagger saw a great deal of each other over a span of 32 years: "Brigham Young" (from 1940), "Western Union," "Alaska," "C-Man," "The Proud Rebel," and a memorable confrontation between Carradine's blind preacher and Jagger's bigoted stonemason, Caine's grandfather, in KUNG FU's "Dark Angel" (from 1972).