Louis De Rochemont

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The House On 92nd Street Review


Weak
A procedural noir that's based on a true story, straight outta WWII! While this must have made for quite an experience in 1945 (the FBI busts up a Nazi spy ring in New York looking to steal the secrets of the atomic bomb!), today it comes across as a bit goody-goody, pandering to the FBI, pedantic, and not noirish at all. Most of the film is designed to show us how impressive the feds are at solving crime -- with presumably real footage of the punch-card computers used to ferret out who fingerprints belong to -- then reinforce the visuals by explaining how impressive this all is via voice-over. Sure, for the era, it must have been nifty tricks, but the smallish story that The House on 92nd Street bothers to tell along the way doesn't merit much more than a shrug. William Eythe would love to be Tyrone Power, but he just can't carry the picture. And the absurd Nazi spies would have gotten busted before they got anywhere south of, oh, 91st Street.
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