House on 92nd Street (1945): Thrilling FBI Thriller

Shot in semi-documentary style, which was innovative at the time, House on 92nd Street is an effective dramatic thriller about the smashing of a Nazi spy ring operating the U.S.

Covert surveillance helps the FBI discover the presence of some suspicious individuals in New York City.  William Eythe plays a German-American college student approached by the spies to become a secret Nazi operative. But instead Eythe goes directly to FBI chief Lloyd Nolan and offers his services as a double agent. His mission is to locate the head of the spy ring, an unseen figure known as Mr. Christopher.

Eythe manages to infiltrate the ring’s headquarter in a house on 92nd street. Among the conspirators are an erudite German colonel (Leo G. Carroll) and the female owner of the house (Signe Hasso).

The plot involves the smuggling to Germany of America’s atomic secrets by a weak-willed document clerk. Paying attention to the meticulous research and rigorous techniques of the FBI, House on 92nd Street is particularly exciting in its final sequence, in which the identity of Mr. Christopher is revealed and double agent Eythe escapes.

Running time: 88 minutes.

Directed by Henry Hathaway


Oscar Nominations: 1

Original Story: Charles G. Booth

Oscar Awards: 1