I Was An American Spy (1951): Selander’s Fictinalized Biopic of Real Hero Claire Phillips, Starring Ann Dvorak

Produced by Allied Artists and directed by Lesley Selander (one of the most prolific directors), I Was an American Spy is a fictionalized dramatization of the true story of war hero Claire Phillips.

Played with commitment by Ann Dvorak, Claire was an American of Filipino descent who spied on the Japanese during World War II. She was captured, tortured, and sentenced to death, before being rescued.

After obtaining the rights to her 1947 book, Manila Espionage, the filmmakers brought Phillips on as a technical adviser and she helped promote the film.

The feature begins with General Mark W. Clark introducing the film by paying tribute to Claire Phillips, and it ends with General Clark awarding her the Medal of Freedom.

End Note:

TCM showed the film on March 22, 2019.