|I WAS AN AMERICAN SPY (director: Lesley Selander; screenwriters: Sam Roeca/based on a series of autobiographical Reader's Digest articles by Claire Phillips in collaboration with Myron B. Goldsmith; cinematographer: Harry Neumann; editor: Philip Cahn; music: Edward J. Kay; cast: Ann Dvorak (Mrs. Claire 'High Pockets' Phillips), Gene Evans (Cpl. John Boone), Douglas Kennedy (Sgt. John Phillips), Richard Loo (Col. Masamato), Leon Lontoc (Pacio), Chabing (Lolita), Philip Ahn (Capt. Arito), Marya Marco (Fely), Nadine Ashdown (Dian), Lisa Ferraday (Dorothy Fuentes); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: David Diamond; Warner Bros.(Allied Artists); 1951)|
|"Emotionally powerful low-budget
by Dennis Schwartz
B-film filmmaker Lesley Selander ("War
Paint"/"Arrow in the Dust"/"Shotgun") directed this
emotionally powerful low-budget war story. Sam Roeca
wrote the screenplay, and fictionalizes a few items to
make the story more sympathetic for the American
audience (she's single and not divorced) . It was shot
in b/w at Iverson Ranch in the Simi Hills
in Chatsworth, California.
true war story was based on a series of
1945 autobiographical Reader's Digest articles by
Claire Phillip (Ann Dvorak)
in collaboration with Myron B. Goldsmith.
Claire was a divorced mother from Portland,
Oregon, living in the Philippines, when she met and
fell in love with the American soldier Sgt. John
Phillips (Douglas Kennedy) and
chose to stay behind to be near her new hubby when the
Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1941 and became
the fall of Bataan and the capture of her husband,
whom she married at the onset of the invasion, Claire
abandons common sense to become a spy. She dangerously
poses as a slinky Manila nightclub hostess in a swanky
club she owns through American intelligence money and
takes the code name of High Pockets. Spying on the
high ranking soldiers and the dignitaries who
frequented the club, brings much info. Any info she
collected was passed onto American intelligence agents
fighting a guerrilla war in the woods. Permission to
operate the club was granted to her by the occupying
commander Col. Masamato (Richard
Loo, Asian-American actor).
Lisa Fuentes plays Claire's loyal maid, who cares
for her adopted girl Dian (Nadine
Ashdown). Leon Lontoc is the
trusted Philippine go-between, engaged by Claire's
husband to watch over her. Gene Evans is
an intelligence agent in exile in the Philippines, who
Claire meets in the woods. He suggested that she
become a spy. Claire is eventually discovered and is
tortured while imprisoned. However, before shot by the
colonel, Evans leads a guerrilla raid that frees her.
Though I can applaud Claire's patriotism and heroics, as General Mark W. Clark stated in the opening, but I cannot applaud such an underwhelming movie about her deeds.
REVIEWED ON 4/12/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ