When a Cuban man is killed on a New York street, the investigation leads to Havana and the man running an alien smuggling ring. The immigration detective assigned to the case in Havana poses as a Hungarian refugee to infiltrate the ring.
When a Cuban man is killed on a New York street, the investigation leads to Havana and the man running an alien smuggling ring known as Palinov (George Macready). Pete Karczag (John Hodiak) is the immigration detective assigned to the case in Havana. To infiltrate the ring, he poses as a Hungarian refugee desperate to gain passage to America. While negotiating his trip he meets and falls for beautiful Marianne Lorress (Hedy Lamarr), who is also hoping to make the illegal journey. It's a Latin dance with frequent lead changes as Palinov and Pete struggle for the upper hand and the attentions of Marianne. As tautly directed by noir specialist Joseph H. Lewis (My Name Is Julia Ross, Gun Crazy), the winner of this high-stakes game is unknown until the climactic finale on a fog-shrouded dock.
A LADY WITHOUT PASSPORT stars Hedy Lamarr in the title role. Lamarr plays Marianne Lorress, a concentration-camp refugee who takes up residence in Cuba while waiting permission to enter the U.S. Immigration agent Pete Karczag (John Hodiak) decides to use Marianne as bait to entrap Palinov (George Macready), the brains of an alien-smuggling ring. Pete eventually falls in love with Marianne, but she despises him for using her--at least until fade-out time. Despite the tattoo on her arm, it is difficult to believe that Hedy Lamarr has survived a Nazi concentration camp; she appears instead to have staged a desperate escape from the MGM makeup department. This aside, A LADY WITHOUT PASSPORT is an acceptable (and commendably short) crime meller.
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