Release dateMarch 29, 1941 (1941-03-29) WriterMartin Mooney (original screenplay and story) ProductionProducers Releasing Corporation CastNeil Hamilton (James Madison), Doris Day (Rita Bennett), Victor Varconi (Otto Lieberman), Charles C. Wilson (Bruce Lane), Frank Shannon (Hammond), Betty Blythe (Marcia) Similar moviesRelated William Beaudine movies
Federal fugitives 1941 wwii thriller
Federal Fugitives (a.k.a. International Spy) is a 1941 American film noir directed by William Beaudine. The film stars Neil Hamilton, Doris Day, Victor Varconi and Charles C. Wilson.
Government agent Captain James Madison (Neil Hamilton) spots a man in Washington D.C. that he thinks is Otto Lieberman (Victor Varconi), a fugitive that caused an aircraft crash that killed eight people. Without Lieberman's knowledge, Madison manages to identify him by his fingerprints on a water glass. He then learns his address after having his regular cab driver, Chuck (Lyle Latell), follow him. Lieberman has now assumed the identity of Dr. Frederic Haskell and is working with Bruce Lane (Charles C. Wilson), a wealthy lobbyist suspected of dealing with foreign agents.
The two men embark on a scheme to gain control of the aircraft plant owned by Henry Gregory (George M. Carleton). Gregory has invented a casting-process that uses plastic for some of the parts in an aircraft. Learning that Lieberman and Lane have met with Gregory, Madison also meets him and asks that he be introduced to them as Robert Edmunds, Gregory's partner in Los Angeles.
Lane's assistant Rita Bennett (Doris Day), is caught up in the scheme, but is falling for the government agent. Rita is afraid that Edmunds is going to be poisoned, but before she can warn him, she is struck down by a speeding car. After days in the hospital, she tries to carry out the warning, but the government agent is now at Haskell's hideout and about to take a poison pill. With Chuck and his friend Ox (Frank Moran), Rita takes them to the hideout. They subdue the foreign agents while Madison pursues Haskell, who falls down an elevator shaft to his death. Finally, Rita and Madison embrace and kiss.
Neil Hamilton as Capt. James Madison/Robert Edmunds
Doris Day as Rita Bennett
Victor Varconi as Otto Lieberman a.k.a. Dr. Frederic Haskell
Charles C. Wilson as Bruce Lane (as Charles Wilson)
George M. Carleton as Henry Gregory
Frank Shannon as Col. Hammond
Betty Blythe as Marcia, Lane's sister
Lyle Latell as Chuck
Frank Moran as Ox, Chuck's Pal
Principal photography for Federal Fugitives under the working title of International Spy took place in two weeks from mid-February 1941. After a stint in Great Britain, director William "One Shot" Beaudine returned to America in 1937 but had trouble re-establishing himself at the major studios. After working at Warner Brothers, Beaudine found work on Poverty Row, working for studios specializing in low-budget films, such as Monogram Pictures and Producers Releasing Corporation. Beaudine became a specialist in comedies, thrillers and melodramas making dozens for these studios. By the 1940s, Beaudine had a reputation for being a resourceful, no-nonsense director who could make feature films in a matter of days, sometimes as few as five.
Shortly after release, Federal Fugitives was followed up by Emergency Landing, another B film.