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International Crime


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International Crime is a 1938 American film directed by Charles Lamont starring Rod La Rocque and Astrid Allwyn.


Lamont Cranston, amateur criminologist and detective, with a daily radio program, sponsored by the Daily Classic newspaper, has developed a friendly feud that sometimes passes the friendly stage with Police Commissioner Weston. He complains to his managing editor, Edward Heath, over the problems that have developed in his department since Phoebe Lane has been hired as his assistant. He is advised to forget it since she is the publisher's niece. During his broadcast about Honest John, a famous safe cracker who has served his time, Phoebe gives him a note that the Metropolitan Theatre is to be robbed at eight o'clock and she is so insistent that he adds it as his closing note. Off the air, he learns she got the information from a man she met in a café who had an honest face.
Cranston goes to the theatre where Weston and his men have gathered and, of course, nothing happens but, across town, a safe is blown at the home of international banker Gerald Morton and the banker is killed. Cranston arrives there ahead of the police and discovers enough evidence to show him that it wasn't just a simple robbery with the banker accidentally killed. The irate Weston has him jailed as a material witness, but Phoebe comes through with a habeas corpus in time for him to make his broadcast. Honest John crashes into the studio with a gun and demands that Cranston exonerates him over the air from the police suspicion that he committed the robbery. Weston rushes to the studio but Honest John has escaped.
Cranston takes Phoebe on a tour of night clubs hoping she will spot the man who gave her the robbery message. She does and Cranston poses as a new arrival from Europe and learns that the man is Flotow and his companion is Starkov. Flotow recognizes Phoebe and invites them to his apartment after the bar closes. They leave together, but Cranston knows it is a trap and makes excuses to allow Phoebe and himself to depart. However, they make a date for lunch the next day.
The next day Cranston and his editor concoct an apology to appease Commissioner Weston. While Flotow and Starkov are waiting for Cranston to join them for lunch, Cranston breaks into Flotow's apartment where he meets Phoebe who also has had the same idea. Cranston answers Flotow's phone and Morton's butler says there is a meeting at the Morton home that afternoon. The call is cut short and as they wait for the butler to call back Flotow and Starkov return and attempt to detain them. Moe, Cranston's driver, rescues them by flashing his "gun", which is really a cigarette case. The ruse allows the three to escape. After they leave, Morton's butler calls back and Flotow knows he is suspected.
Back at his office, Cranston gets valuable information from the paper's financial editor about Morton's business dealings. At the same time, Editor Heath is appeasing Weston with Cranston's apology. Cranston sends down his evening edition column intended to bait Flotow but will also infuriate Weston. As he leaves the paper's offices to act on the intercepted butler's message he is forced into Moe's cab at gun point by Honest John. As he attempts to verbally appease Honest John, Cranston gets the upper hand by using Moe's "gun". After John confesses that he really only came back to town to get a fresh start Cranston reveals the fake gun and they laugh the kidnapping off. Commissioner Heath is angered by the Shadow's latest column and sends a man to arrest Cranston for withholding information from the police. The policeman gets a tip in Cranston's office to follow him to Morton's.
At the Morton house, Flotow and Sparkov arrive and are admitted by the duplicitous butler. They surprise Morton's brother and force him to open the safe. As they explain their motive for killing his brother they force him to write a "suicide" note and give him a gun with one bullet. Cranston and Honest John enter and interrupt the killing. John covers the pair while Cranston goes to the front door to let the police in. As Matthews explains he is there to arrest Cranston, the butler tries to sneak out the front door. Seeing this, Cranston throws a potted plant to stop the butler but hits Commissioner Weston who just opens the door.
The film closes with Cranston's broadcast tying up the case and complimenting the police which pleases both Weston and Heath. Phoebe is given the microphone but is too flustered to speak. Cranston closes with "Crime does not pay!" Fade Out.


  • Rod La Rocque as Lamont Cranston
  • Astrid Allwyn as Phoebe Lane
  • Thomas E. Jackson as Commissioner Weston
  • Oscar O'Shea as Editor Heath
  • Wilhelm von Brincken as Flotow
  • William Pawley as Honest John
  • Walter Bonn as Stefan, Flotow's driver
  • Lew Hearn as Moe, Cranston's driver
  • Tenen Holtz as Starkhov
  • John St. Polis as Roger Morton
  • Lloyd Whitlock as Attorney
  • Paul Panzer as Morton's Butler

Category:1938 films
Category:American films
Category:1930s mystery films
Category:The Shadow films
Category:1930s adventure films
Category:English-language films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:Films based on radio series
Category:Films directed by Charles Lamont
Category:Grand National Films films
Category:1930s crime films

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