Joe Smith (1942): Thorpe’s Spy Film, Starring Robert Young and Marsha Hunt

Richard Thorpe directed Joe Smith, a spy film starring Robert Young and Marsha Hunt.

The film, loosely based on the story of Herman W. Lang, and the theft of plans of a top-secret bombsight, is the account of a worker at an aviation factory who is kidnapped by enemy spies.

The opening credits contained the prologue: “This story is about a man who defended his country. His name is Joe Smith. He is an American. This picture is a tribute to all Joe Smiths.”

Joe Smith, American was the first in a series of B films made at MGM under the supervision of Dore Schary who also wrote the treatment, based on his own story.

The story was later adapted to a postwar setting and new characters in The Big Operator (1959).