The House on 92nd Street (1945) Movie Script

Vigilant, tireless, implacable.
The most silent service
of the United States in peace or war... the Federal Bureau
of Investigation.
The Bureau went to war with Germany
long before hostilities began.
No word or picture
could then make public...
...the crucial war service of the FBI.
But now it can be told.
In 1939, with thousands
of known and suspected enemy agents...
...invading the Americas...
...the FBI started building up its force
of special agents and employees...
...from 2000 to a war peak of 15,000.
Before being sent into the field,
each new agent had to learn...
...all the modern techniques
of crime detection...
...such as the use of a specially treated
x- ray mirror...
...through which an FBI man
can see without being seen.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
had to be the world's...
...most efficient intelligence
and counterespionage service.
For war is thought,
and thought is information.
And he who knows most
strikes hardest.
By examining the intercepted mail
of unsuspecting Nazi agents...
...the FBI uncovered many
secret channels of communication.
Between the lines
of an innocent-appearing letter...
...invisibly coded
in an obsolete German shorthand...
...were important instructions
for one group of spies.
The Bureau's infinitely
painstaking system...
...of sifting and recording every scrap
of potential information...
...paid handsome dividends.
The FBI was adding new names
to its long list of Germans...
...known to be dangerous.
And each day, as fresh investigated
reports came in from the field...
...FBI officials saw more clearly...
...the pattern of German espionage
in the United States.
Nucleus of the Nazi network
in America...
...was the German Embassy
in Washington...
...protected, until a declaration of war,
by diplomatic immunity.
Long before December 7th, 1941,
from a vantage point nearby...
...G-men photographed the actions
of hundreds of suspects.
These are the actual films
taken by the FBI.
They gave Director Hoover
and his men a daily record...
...and description
of all embassy visitors.
This continuous
photographic surveillance...
...provided a permanent record
to be studied intensively...
...whenever new developments
took place.
The Bureau soon discovered
that the embassy was being used... disperse money for subversive
activity in the United States.
The Bureau also knew that the embassy
had a short-wave radio...
...and was in direct communication
with Germany.
No one was watched more closely
by the FBI...
...than the arrogant
Baron Ulrich von Gienanth.
Although accredited
as an embassy official...
...he was actually chief
of the German Gestapo in America.
Equally important were pompous
Vice Admiral Witthoeft-Emden...
...and his suave assistant,
Helmut Raeuber...
...experts in obtaining information
about ships and cargoes.
Dr. Hans Thomsen,
the German charg d'affaires...
...tried to win American collaborators.
So did his associate,
General Karl Boetischer.
Parading before hidden FBI cameras
were the embassy secretaries.
These girls spent evenings
in the company of American servicemen.
They were having fun...
...but they were also diligently
accumulating information for Germany.
The FBI watched them discreetly,
knew all about them.
By relentless surveillance
of embassy officials...
...and all those
with whom they associated...
...the FBI learned that Germany
was recruiting American Nazis...
...for its espionage service.
In 1939, Nazi fronts, like Fritz Kuhn...
...and his German-American Bund,
were flourishing.
The Germans said
they were only social gatherings.
But the FBI knew that these societies
were part of a well-laid German plan... build up a fifth column
in the United States.
In 1939, on the campus
of a Midwestern university...
...not far from Columbus, Ohio,
there was a brilliant young student.
Born of German-American parents
who were proud of his college record...
...he was preparing
to become a diesel engineer.
His name was William Dietrich.
Just before graduation...
...Dietrich was approached
by German representatives...
...who offered him a free trip to Germany
and a well-paying job on arrival.
Dietrich reported the incident
to the FBI.
When the meaning of the German
invitation was explained to him...
...Dietrich offered his services
to the Bureau.
With money generously supplied
by the Germans...
...Dietrich bought passage at the German
Tourist Bureau in New York City.
The Germans felt that Dietrich
was an extremely valuable man.
So did the FBI.
Ten days later Dietrich was 3500 miles
from New York... Germany's great port city
of Hamburg.
On the Klopstockstrasse
was a second-rate hotel...
...the Pension Klopstock, which housed
the German High Command's...
...notorious school for spies.
Here were trained hundreds
of recruits for the Abwehr...
...Germany's super-secret espionage
and sabotage service.
Like Dietrich,
many of his classmates...
...had been recruited
in the United States.
And back to the United States
they would go...
...when they were properly equipped.
Synthesis of the FBI's
counterespionage offensive... World War II
is the Christopher case...
...which opened, as great cases
often do, by accident.
A little accident
at Bowling Green in New York City.
Hey, look out!
Christopher, Christopher.
Might as well take it easy, Joe.
He's through.
Somewhere in the
dark web of war was Christopher...
...the dead man's companion...
...the man who had retrieved
his friend's briefcase and vanished.
Who was he?
He's got a Spanish
passport. Francisco Ruiez.
Hey, doc, look at this.
It's all in German.
Stuff about ships, I think.
That means, uh...
That means incendiary bullet.
"Weight 148 grains. Load 46 grains.
Dupont 11-27 powder. "
Can you read Spanish too?
Something funny about this.
We better get his fingerprints
and turn them over to the FBl.
Fingerprint him.
To the desk of
FBI Inspector George A. Briggs...
...came the report
on the death of Francisco Ruiez.
In the FBI Identification Division...
...are nearly 100 million sets
of fingerprints... organized that it takes
less than five minutes... identify a set of fingerprints
with those on file.
No fingerprints were listed
under the name of Francisco Ruiez.
But regardless of name,
once his print was classified...
...a search for the individual's identity
was a simple matter.
There's something coming now.
Yeah, it's in cipher.
This stuff is fugitive.
We better get a shot of it
before it dissolves.
- Send a copy to Cryptanalysis.
- Yes, sir.
- Is this what you're looking for?
- I'll see.
It certainly is. Thanks a lot, Quinn.
Here it is, Mr. Briggs.
Oh, thank you.
That translates, "Mr. Christopher
will concentrate on Process 97. "
- What's that?
- Well, Herr Christof...
...Mr. Christopher will concentrate
on Process 97.
- That's all?
- That's all.
Thanks. Thank you.
Inspector Briggs knew...
...that the most important American
military secret in history was Process 97.
Set up a conference with Military
and Naval intelligence immediately.
That's all.
In several remote places
under strict military protection...
...American scientists
were developing Process 97...
...the secret ingredient
of the atomic bomb.
An explosive derived from the metal
uranium so powerful and devastating...
...that one relatively small bomb
gave promise...
...of having the destructive power
of 20,000 tons of TNT.
A presidential directive gave the FBI
the responsibility of coordinating...
...all counterespionage investigations.
At a series of conference with Army
and Naval Intelligence officers...
...the FBI reviewed the case
of Francisco Ruiez...
...from whose effects had come
the startling information...
...that foreign agents
had learned about Process 97...
...and were actually attempting
to steal the secret.
Plans were formulated to erect
an impenetrable and absolute barrier.
Have you any other information,
Mr. Briggs?
No, not at this time.
- Mr. Briggs.
- Yes, admiral?
Who is this Mr. Christopher?
I wish we knew.
Meanwhile, after
six months of intensive training...
...Dietrich had completed his course
at the Pension Klopstock...
...and was ready for assignment.
For your first needs, $50,000.
You will make three contacts only:
Elsa Gebhardt, Colonel Hammersohn,
and Adolph Kline.
- You will keep them in funds.
- Yes, sir.
When you reach New York, go directly
to Elsa Gebhardt on East 92nd Street.
You will establish contact
with Hammersohn and Kline through her.
- Yes, sir.
- These are your credentials.
They are on microfilm.
You will need these: draft card,
registration, classification card...
...birth certificate, driver's license,
New York State...
...Navy and Army discharge papers,
Social Security card.
No one could tell them
from the originals.
One thing more:
There is one person
in the United States...
...who can countermand the orders
I have given you.
If you receive instructions
from Mr. Christopher...
...abandon whatever
you may be doing...
...and place yourself entirely
at his disposal.
- Mr. Christopher?
- Is all of this clear?
Yes, sir.
- Goodbye, colonel.
- Goodbye.
Within a few days,
Dietrich was in Lisbon, Portugal...
...communication center
for international espionage.
He went immediately to an address
given to him by the FBI.
There's something wrong with
this watch. I wonder if you'd look at it.
- I'll have to examine it.
- Would you, please?
I'm sorry, sir,
I won't be able to repair this watch.
I understand. Thanks.
Thirty-two hours later...
...a special courier coming by
transatlantic clipper...
...brought Dietrich's credentials
to FBI headquarters in Washington.
Inspector Briggs was given
the responsibility...
...of solving the Christopher case.
Behind him
were all the resources of the FBI.
That translates: "William Dietrich
is specifically authorized... receive all reports
for transmission direct. Two... "
That means, "You're instructed to look
to him for all payments. Three... "
That'd mean, "He is forbidden to have
any contact with agents known to you. "
Change that last line.
Change it to read:
"He is authorized to contact
all agents known to you. "
- Is that a new watch?
- Yeah.
Did it cost more than $ 100?
I don't remember exactly.
Do you mind if I take a look at it?
There you are.
What's the value of this watch?
- Oh, it's about $90.
- Thank you.
- Here's your watch.
- Oh, thanks.
You can get out that way.
Just off Madison
Avenue in uptown New York...
...there was a five-story dwelling.
This was soon to become known
among all FBI men... the house on 92nd Street.
May I help you?
- Miss Elsa Gebhardt?
- Yes.
I'm Bill Dietrich.
I have a message for you from Felix.
How is Felix?
You mean Felix Braun
of Miami, of course.
I mean Felix Strassen of Hamburg.
He asked me to pay his respects... give you these.
- Would you care to sit down?
- Thank you.
The new one has arrived. Bill Dietrich.
I have his credentials here.
Max, turn off the light.
He's authorized to contact all agents
known to you?
- Everything all right?
- You'll want your credentials back.
I have brought you some money.
You know what I'm going to do
over here?
I've been expecting you.
I understand you can help me
make certain contacts.
Yes, we can start right away.
Would you come with me?
This is Bill Dietrich.
- Where'd you come from?
- Germany.
- Where in Germany?
- Hamburg.
Pension Klopstock, Klopstockstrasse.
Who gave instructions
to come to America?
Colonel Strassen.
- How did you get here?
- I came by freighter.
From Hamburg?
- No, from Lisbon, Portugal.
- When did you leave Lisbon?
- Three weeks ago.
- How long did you stay there?
- Two days. I waited for the freighter.
- You stayed under cover?
- Yeah, at the Grand Hotel.
- Whom did you contact in Lisbon?
- No one.
You're sure of that?
I had strict orders
not to contact anybody.
When did you get here?
I don't see why
I have to answer all these questions.
- Didn't you show them my credentials?
- Yeah, we seen them.
Maybe he doesn't want to tell us
when he got here.
Is that right, Mr. Dietrich?
- I have no authority-
You got off of the boat
at 10: 17 this morning.
You left the pier at 10:50.
You took a cab to the Martinique Hotel
at 32nd and Broad.
You checked in
and stayed there until 12:30.
Then you took a bus
to 42nd Street and Times Square...
...and walked to the Silver Dollar
at 46th Street and had a cup of java...
- ... then here.
- Why didn't you come right here?
- Why did you go to a hotel?
- Well, I wanted to take a bath and I-
It looks like you know all about me.
Yeah, we're gonna keep on knowing.
Before you arrived, we worked in small
groups, unknown to one another.
I see.
- What's so special about you...
...that you are allowed
to know all our agents?
Those are the orders.
It looks like we're all taking
a chance on you, mister.
Everybody takes a chance.
Hamburg wants their agents to be
in a position to send information direct...
...through me,
in the event of emergencies.
Who are these people?
Max Coburg, Conrad Arnulf.
They used to be
with the Eiserne Wacht Bund.
Johanna Schmidt,
she has special duties.
Gestapo. I know about you
from Hamburg.
What do you know?
Usual things.
What's your job?
They've got to get stuff
through faster.
Radio's best, so I'm going to set up
a short-wave station.
- I'll need some help.
- What kind of help?
Radio parts, mostly.
It'd look suspicious
if I bought them all myself.
What do you want?
Well, I have a list here.
I'll let you know
where you can send them.
This stuff is hard to get.
I know, but Hamburg needs
a station here.
Conrad will get them for you.
As soon as I find the right location,
I'm going to open up an office.
People with information
can contact me there.
Send me word as soon
as you are ready to operate.
I'll get it to the others.
I wanna contact
a Colonel Hammersohn.
- I can arrange that.
- I have some money for him.
Well, I wanna get started
as quickly as possible.
So that's the guy from Hamburg.
What do you think, Elsa?
He has good credentials, but-
How do we know?
They look good, so what?
No. No, I don't trust that guy.
He knows too much.
We won't take any chances.
I'll check with Hamburg
for confirmation.
- How?
- Hammersohn.
He can get a message
through by mail to Brazil.
A courier will take it
by Italian Airlines to Dakar.
It's simple from there.
Max, contact Hammersohn.
- Tell him I want to see him today.
Following a prearranged plan
for maintaining contact with Dietrich...
...Inspector Briggs set up a special office
in New York City.
Here's some air-raid literature
for you to pass out.
- All right.
- Now I wanna know...
...who actually lives in that house
and what floors they live on.
- Shall we get a layout?
- No, we'll get that later.
Okay, we'll get right up there.
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Is the superintendent in?
- No, he isn't.
- Can I help you? I'm his wife.
- This is in regard to air-raid precautions.
- Air raid? We are at war?
- No, not yet, ma'am.
We hope we won't be, but if a war
should come, we want to be ready.
Yes, of course.
We're making a survey
of everyone living on this block.
- What is your name please?
- Kassel, Freda Kassel.
Would you let us know
who's in the apartments?
Just Miss Gebhardt.
She rents the whole house.
She has a dress store.
- Gebhardt, your husband and yourself.
- That's right.
- Are you here most of the time?
- Yes.
My husband is a pianist.
He goes all over places.
I see. Well, I guess that's all.
Here's some air-raid literature,
if you'd like.
- Be particularly careful about lights.
- Yes, sir.
Just off Columbus
Circle in New York City...
...Bill Dietrich, posing as
a consultant engineer...
...rented an office and established
his place of business.
The office looked legitimate.
He was almost ready
to receive callers.
- Morning.
- Good morning. Are you Mr. Dietrich?
That's right.
I believe we have
a mutual acquaintance, Felix Strassen.
Come in.
Felix Strassen.
Yes, I knew him in Hamburg.
I feel sure it must be the same man.
I'm Colonel Hammersohn.
Glad to know you.
Won't you sit down?
Looking for something, colonel?
I'm just naturally cautious.
I have just moved in.
Things are a little bit upset.
Yes, I see.
I have something for you.
It's microfilm from Felix.
It confirms you have funds for me.
And you have something for Hamburg.
We'll see.
You must have good
sources of information.
I've had considerable experience.
- You've heard of me, of course?
- Oh, yes.
During the last war,
I worked with Captain Boy-Ed...
...Fritz von Papen,
Count von Bernstorff.
This time the stakes are higher...
...the personal danger
proportionately greater.
With my record, I'm very careful.
Have you been here long?
Not very long, no.
They supplied you
with adequate funds?
I can pay for information.
That's in the credentials.
It takes a great deal of money,
you know.
We're willing to pay.
I think, perhaps Hamburg
might be interested... an entirely new type of gun
the United States Army is testing.
- It's a wonderful gun. I've seen it.
- Hmm?
It projects an anti-tank rocket.
Guiding fins are folded
inside the barrel.
Here are complete details of recent
shipments of Bell Airacobras...
...and Curtiss P-40s
to England and Russia.
This is special information
on the new Lockheed P-38s.
The speed and armament
of this plane is strictly secret...
...or was until I got hold of this.
I'll send these to Hamburg.
Terribly difficult information to get,
but there it is.
I was instructed to give you this.
I was told you could put me in touch
with a Mr. Adolph Kline.
Adolph Kline?
For shipping information.
I have orders to contact him.
- I'll arrange it.
- Good.
- Cigarette?
- Thanks.
How can I get in touch
with Christopher?
Well, he's my boss.
I've never even met him.
- He is my boss too.
- Yeah?
I haven't met him either.
- You'll take care of me on Kline?
- Oh, yes.
Where will I find him?
I'll contact him and arrange a meeting.
When will this be?
I'll let you know.
In a secluded cottage less
than an hour's drive from Manhattan...
...Agent Dietrich set up
a short-wave radio transmitter.
Hamburg complimented Dietrich
on the speed and efficiency...
...with which he got his reports
through to Germany...
...and their instructions
back to the United States.
They did not know...
...that Dietrich's little short-wave radio
had a limited range...
...and that all his messages
were beamed... a secret FBI long-range radio station
not far away.
From this point, the FBI relayed
Dietrich's messages to Germany...
...on the wavelength and schedule...
...and in the code
that the Germans had given him.
He received all replies and instructions
from Germany the same way...
...through the counterespionage station
of the FBI.
But all messages in both directions
were first teletyped to Washington...
...for immediate examination.
All messages to Germany were held
before relaying...
...until the Army and Navy
had rendered them harmless...
...or perhaps had skillfully doctored them
to mislead and confuse...
...the German High Command.
Besides operating his radio station...
...Dietrich extended his contacts
with the German spy ring.
As their pay-off man,
the enemy's agents had to come to him.
Some tried to sell information
of no importance.
Others brought highly secret data.
The FBI's hidden movie cameras
and microphones...
...recorded all Dietrich's visitors.
- Hello.
Suddenly and disastrously...
...Japan struck at Pearl Harbor.
On this momentous,
infamous Sunday...
...the FBI sprang into action
just as swiftly and effectively... the rest of the nation's
armed forces.
Within 24 hours,
all known enemy agents...
...and saboteurs
were taken into custody...
...with a few purposeful exceptions.
Important agents,
like Colonel Hammersohn...
...Elsa Gebhardt, Conrad Arnulf...
...and Johanna Schmidt,
were left at liberty.
This was to justify
the continued liberty of Bill Dietrich.
And because, watched closely...
...they could still help more than harm
the American people.
They still knew or might know things
and people not yet known to the FBI.
Such as Adolph Kline...
...and Mr. Christopher.
Oh, Colonel Hammersohn.
- Hello, Dietrich.
Isn't it sort of dangerous
for you to be coming here now?
Yes, the war makes
everything difficult.
Every day, they're picking up
more of our agents.
But I've made contact
with Adolph Kline.
- When could I see him?
- Immediately. Come with me now.
- Where are we going?
- I'm not at liberty to say. Come on.
Calling Car 70. Calling Car 70.
Come in, Car 70. Over.
Car 70 standing by. Over.
Mr. H going down in elevator with D.
Mr. H going down
in elevator with D.
- Follow and advise. Over.
Okay, will do. Off and clear.
Here it is.
How will I know Kline?
There'll be someone there
to introduce you.
- Aren't you going in with me?
- No, I shan't see you for a long time.
We've got to be very careful
from now on.
- Good night.
- Good night.
- Good evening.
- Hello.
Meet Adolph Kline.
How are you?
Glad to know you, Adolph Kline.
From Felix.
- Is that all?
Well, it takes money to operate.
You talk, I'll pay.
"The Britannia sails for England tonight.
A Dutch boat, the Delftdyke,
goes with her.
She'll join convoy 30 miles
due east of Sandy Hook.
Delftdyke carries a cargo
of munitions and planes. "
May I have that?
- Who is that?
- That's Gus Hausman. He works for me.
He's drunk.
He is a good man for information
when he isn't drinking.
- Hello, Gus.
- Shove over, you.
- Who are these people?
- They're friends of mine.
You're the pay-off man, is that right?
That's right.
He's going to take care of us.
Take care of you.
You know where he gets
his dope on ships, don't you?
I give it to him,
that's where he gets it.
Who's going to take care of me?
- Now, come on, Gus. I'll buy you a drink.
- I had a drink.
How would you like to know
the Queen Mary's back again?
She's loading 40,000 drums of oil.
Now would you like to know
where she's going?
Australia, that's where she's going.
And she's full of troops.
How much dough is that worth?
- I pay Kline. He'll take care of you.
- Oh, you pay Kline.
- Who pays me?
- I'm going to take care of you, Gus.
You take care of nobody.
You gonna pay off?
You'll have to operate through Kline.
Okay. Okay.
Let's just forget the whole thing.
I know where I can get
some real dough.
Maybe I'll just spill the inside story
on what's going on around here.
Shut up.
I don't know who you are, sister...
...but tell me again
when I come to see you.
I'll bring you a nail file
to cut through the bars.
Look, she knows what she's doing.
- Hey, bud, got a match?
- What?
You got a match?
- You want a light?
- Yeah, bud. How you feeling?
Four hundred...
...four-fifty, five- Five-fifty.
Well, that isn't much money to operate.
I gotta pay a lot of people.
You'll be paid well enough.
Have you seen Mr. Christopher lately?
Hey, who are you?
You were told about me.
Don't you trust me?
You're fooling around with stuff
that's none of your business.
- I thought it was-
- I gotta be sure...
...that my information
is getting through.
- That's my job.
- Maybe.
But I gotta be sure.
I'm gonna send my information
through Mr. Christopher.
- I'm working for Christopher.
- What are you asking about him for?
- The war's changed things.
- Only Mr. Christopher can change things.
- Well, if that's the way you want it.
- That's the way it's gonna be.
While you're sticking your nose in things,
you might take a little trip with Gus.
- Good night, Kline.
- I don't even know you.
- Where have you been?
- I just came from the office.
Where were you last night?
At the radio station.
Weren't you supposed
to meet Kline last night?
Yeah, I met him.
You're to get this to Hamburg as fast
as you can make the transmission.
What is it?
If we hadn't done anything else
in all the years we have been here...
...this information
would be more than worth it.
It's up to you now.
This is your chance.
I'll get it through.
- Cigarette?
- Thank you, I don't smoke.
Could I see them?
You're to have these papers
back here tomorrow night.
Tomorrow night?
That's a tough order.
I've got to put this in code.
It'll take time.
Orders are not to be questioned.
It'd save time if I can burn them
when I was finished.
This information will also be sent
by mail tomorrow night.
These orders
come from Mr. Christopher.
- Christopher?
- Yes.
They were delivered to me
less than an hour ago.
I just saw Dietrich leaving.
Did he tell you about Adolph Kline?
No, what about him?
He was picked up last night.
Violation of selective service. FBl.
- Dietrich was with him.
- When he was picked up?
That I don't know.
He didn't tell me.
I wonder if he knew.
We've got to be careful
about Dietrich.
Have you been able to get through
the confirmation copy?
Well, it takes time. With the war on,
there are a lot of restrictions.
I won't be satisfied
until I have it in my hands.
- Have you any reason to suspect him?
- No.
There may be nothing at all
to worry about.
But until that confirmation copy comes
from Hamburg, he must be watched.
We are doing our most important work
right now.
Dietrich is a vital part of that work.
If he fails, we all fail.
- Max.
- Yeah?
Get down to the radio station.
Cover Dietrich and keep him covered.
Less than an hour
after Dietrich received his instructions...
...from Elsa Gebhardt, an important
envelope reached Inspector Briggs.
The envelope contained the data
Elsa Gebhardt had given him...
...together with an important clue...
...the cigarette butt,
stained with lipstick...
...which Dietrich had found
on Elsa's desk.
The contents of the envelope
were so unusual...
...that Inspector Briggs rushed
to FBI headquarters in Washington.
And presently,
a distinguished physicist...
...sent for by Briggs,
was flown to Washington.
He was Dr. Arthur C. Appleton...
...72-year-old chief
for the central laboratory...
...where the final secret experiments
on Process 97 were being conducted.
Gentlemen, these papers
contain data on Process 97.
It is appallingly accurate.
These are details of experiments
which we made barely two days ago.
Dr. Appleton...
...we must send this information
on through to Germany.
Now, would it be possible
to change a few details... order to set their scientists
off the track...
...without arousing
the slightest suspicion?
- Of course it is.
- It would?
We've been thrown hundreds of times
ourselves by the slightest error.
Now, we're going to need your help
to change that data.
- Do you think you can do it tonight?
- I can start immediately.
Inspector Briggs
ordered the central laboratory...
...placed under strict
and continuous surveillance.
Through an x-ray mirror in the rear
of an ordinary delivery truck...
...movies were taken...
...of even the most trusted individuals
working on Process 97.
This method of surveillance...
...enabled the 400 FBI agents
now assigned to the case... become familiar with the faces
of every worker...
...permitted to leave the plant.
This facilitated the FBI's difficult job...
...of tracing all of their activities
and all of their contacts.
Let's go over to my office.
The cigarette which
Dietrich was shrewd enough... take from Elsa Gebhardt's desk
was examined by FBI technicians.
Without a doubt...
...the woman who had delivered
the data from Mr. Christopher...
...was the woman
who had left the cigarette.
It was still the only lead
to her identity.
First, a portion of the stained cigarette
was examined by spectrograph... determine what properties
it contained.
The lipstick could then be identified
by comparison...
...with all known brands
in the Bureau's files.
That's fine.
Send it along as soon as you can.
Here's the lab report on the lipstick.
The analysis revealed
a particular brand of lipstick...
...used by 98 different beauty parlors
in New York City.
By checking clients and operators
of these establishments...
...against the records of every known
suspect, the FBI narrowed their search... one particular beauty parlor...
...and one particular suspect:
Luise Vadja.
Well, what was in the envelope
to cause so much trouble?
- Don't you know?
- I understood.
Family messages from people in Germany
to be smuggled underground.
I saw no harm in it.
- Perfectly innocent messages.
- That's all.
Now let's stop this little game
and get down to real honest facts.
I've told you the facts.
We know a great deal about you,
Miss Vadja.
You once worked
on a North German Lloyd liner.
You were a hairdresser.
You used to bring across letters
from Germany...
...and mail them
when you got ashore.
I never knew what was in them.
They were instructions
to German agents in this country.
And you were working as a courier
for the German secret service.
Right now, you're what
we call a sleeper agent.
You were planted here
a long time ago by the Nazis.
You lived a normal,
inconspicuous life for years...
...making friends, earning a living...
...just waiting until you got a call
for the one particular job.
And they saved you for a big one.
But you made one mistake.
You took the trouble
of becoming an American citizen.
And that, Miss Vadja,
makes you a traitor.
I've done nothing since the war began.
Nothing. I swear it.
All right. Now let's get back
to this envelope. Where did you take it?
I was told to take it
to a house on 92nd Street.
- And who told you to take it there?
- I don't know.
Could it have been a name
like Mr. Christopher?
- I don't know that name.
- Are you sure?
Yes, I know the name, but I don't know
who he is. I've never seen him.
Have you ever delivered messages
any other place?
- Just the house and to a bookstore.
- Bookstore.
If something goes wrong,
I deliver the messages there.
What bookstore?
It's on 59th Street.
I think the name is Lange.
- Aren't you sure?
- Yes, it's Lange's Bookstore.
You have a friend who's a scientist.
He's engaged
in very important war work.
- What is his name?
- I have no friend.
Yes, you have,
because he visits you at your home.
There is your friend...
...and there is your home.
And the name of your friend
is Charles Ogden Roper.
You can keep this young lady
in custody.
I want a surveillance made
of Lange's Bookshop on 59th Street.
Right. We've been through
the Vadja apartment.
- Find anything?
- We found the typewriter and checks.
That's the one
that was used to copy the data.
Then Roper is the man
who's been getting it out.
- Shall we pick him up?
- No.
We can't pick him up
until we find out how he does it.
Here we've got a man
under 24-hour surveillance.
He never leaves the laboratory
without being thoroughly searched...
...and still he's getting the stuff out.
That's our problem.
That's what we have to solve.
How does he do it?
How does he do it?
The following day,
an unusual message from Germany...
...was picked up
by the FBI monitoring station...
...and relayed on to Dietrich.
It was also teletyped to Briggs.
Hey, you're in the wrong lane!
Stop a black coupe, 516 New York,
last three numbers. One man driving.
- Let me see your driver's license.
- I haven't got it with me.
- Well, let's see your registration card.
- I haven't got that either.
Okay, you come down
to the station house with me.
We wanna check up on you.
Have you anything to say?
I prefer not to say anything
till I talk to my lawyer.
All right. What's your lawyer's name
and telephone number?
Rector 23515.
Ask for Mr. Briggs.
You received that message
from Hamburg today?
- That's right.
- Have you done anything about it?
Well, not yet, Mr. Briggs.
I was about to contact you for advice
when the message came to meet you.
We think that this may be the lead
that we've been looking for.
- It might be.
- What does it mean to you?
That's a familiar word in Hamburg
for a very special type of agent.
- Oh?
- It's the name of a performer...
...who accomplishes
spectacular feats of memory.
- Memory artist.
- Memory artist.
Hamburg's always looking for people
with unusual memories.
They take a special course
just to improve their memories further.
Yes, but do you think that a man
even with a very unusual memory...
...could get those formulas out?
All that complicated stuff?
Sounds incredible,
but that's what they're trained to do.
Sure, it is incredible.
Memory artist.
Photographic mind.
A little bit at a time.
Well, it may be a lead.
Maybe it's a solution.
What will I do about the message?
You just send it
through your regular channels.
- Oh, anything new on Christopher?
- No, not yet.
Mm-hmm. Well, I'll arrange
for your bail and fine.
Oh, uh, when you give
the message to Elsa...
...why, be very sore
at the police, huh?
- Yes, sir.
- Don't overplay it, you know.
The FBI had to know every
detail of Charles Ogden Roper's life.
Yeah, I remember that crazy
act, but I can't remember the name.
Never could remember names.
Does this sound like it:
"Has performed in clubs,
Sunday school entertainments...
...banquets, special parties.
Demonstrates amazing feats
of memory. "
Oh, don't pay any attention to that.
They always write their own.
"Performs amazing feats of memory. "
What kind of feats? What's the angle?
Well, you see, people call for things
from the audience.
They want to hear stuff
out of highbrow books.
You know, this guy can keep 14 games
of chess going at the same time?
- Chess?
- Boy, there is a lousy game.
But 14 games going at the same time
would take a remarkable memory.
- Sure, but it ain't box office.
- I'll take this along. You'll get it back.
Don't worry, brother,
that act is out of date.
Mr. Roper.
- Yes?
- I'd like to see you in my office.
- Yes, Dr. Appleton.
This is Mr. Briggs of the FBl.
Mr. Roper, my credentials.
Sit down, won't you?
You recognize those?
Those are Photostats of Process 97.
They were stolen from here.
I understand you're one of the workers
allowed to leave the institute.
A few evenings each week, yes.
And you always spend those evenings
with a friend in town.
- We play chess.
I never go anywhere else.
She's an old friend of mine.
I've known her a long time.
- How long?
- About three years.
Shortly after we intercepted this data,
$5000 was paid into your bank account.
That money was from
securities I'd sold.
Doctor, what do you want to know?
This gentleman thinks...
...that you memorized parts
of that formula before you left here.
And when you got to your
friend's house, you set them down.
We know all about you, Roper.
We've traced you back
to the day you were born.
We even know the approximate date
that you're scheduled to die.
You might be interested in this.
That's an intercepted message direct
from Germany.
It'll save a lot of trouble all around
if you'll cooperate with us.
- What do you want?
- You typed the formula...
...on a typewriter owned by your friend
and gave them to her, didn't you?
- Yes.
- What other contacts have you made?
I received several messages
at my friend's house.
From a man
by the name of Hammersohn?
- I don't remember.
- You don't remember?
A man who can keep 14 games of chess
going at the same time...
...and you don't remember?
You've been playing with a very
dangerous group of German agents.
We know. We've seen them work.
They don't mind murder.
You were the next one on their list
as soon as you finished your job.
Did you ever get a message from a man
by the name of Christopher?
- Yes.
- Isn't it possible that Christopher...
...and Hammersohn
are one and the same?
I don't know.
I've never seen either of them.
Did you deliver Process 97 data
to any other place...
...besides Luise Vadja's apartment?
Yes, after she was arrested...
...I received instructions to take the data
to another address.
I made my last delivery this morning.
And where was that?
Lange's Bookshop on 59th Street.
- I put the material in a book.
- What book?
Spencer's First Principles.
What was it you delivered?
What was it, Roper?
I gave them the latest data
on our final...
On our final experiments.
Thank you, doctor.
Put that man under arrest.
I'll call Walker.
Yes, sir.
For some time, Lange's
Bookshop on busy 59th Street...
...was under constant surveillance.
Every person who entered
or left the store...
...was being photographed
by FBI agents...
...from an office directly
across the street.
Can I help you?
- Yes, I believe you can.
Are you looking for a particular book?
Yes, but I can't find it.
Well, what is it?
Have you got a copy
of Spencer's First Principles?
Spencer's First Principles?
No, I haven't had a copy of that
for some time.
- I might be able to get it for you.
- That's funny.
A friend of mine
said he picked up a copy here.
That's very possible, although it must
have been some time ago.
No, this morning.
I'm afraid your friend made a mistake.
Oh, excuse me, I have a customer.
I don't think you're going to have
any customers for some time.
I'm from the FBl.
We'd like to talk to you at our office.
- Now?
- Right now.
Johanna, we've got to get
this through today.
- Where's Bill?
- At his radio station.
Now, you and Conrad
take this out there.
Stay there while he puts it into code.
Make sure that he sends it...
...because everything
depends on you getting that through.
- He'll send it.
- Then bring it back here.
Has the confirmation on Bill come?
No, we expect it any time now.
The clipper's been delayed.
- You think we ought to take this chance?
- There's nothing else we can do.
He's still our fastest channel
to Hamburg.
- We've got to take a chance.
- Okay, let's go.
Where have you been?
I've just seen the courier
from the clipper.
- He brought the message.
- Well, give it to me.
Come on.
"He is forbidden to contact
any agents known to you. "
We have a message for you.
- You've got no business to come here.
- We were ordered to come.
This kind of thing's dangerous.
We weren't followed.
This is from Elsa. You are to send it
immediately. This is important.
I have to put this in code.
That takes time.
- Do it right away.
Wait a minute.
Did you say
you can reach Hamburg with this?
That's what he said.
You are crazy. Look at the coils.
They're only 2 and a half meters.
This wouldn't carry
more than 20 or 30 miles.
This isn't the stuff we got you.
That's right,
I've made a few improvements.
This setup wouldn't carry
across the Atlantic.
How do you know?
Because I'm going to try it.
Go ahead.
The call signal's AOR.
- That's not Bill sending. I know his fist.
- Better answer it.
What's that?
That's not Hamburg.
There is no mush.
It's coming from somewhere nearby.
- Where's it coming from?
- How would I know?
It's not up to me to ask questions.
I follow instructions the same as you.
Maybe it's a relay station
picking up messages...
...from this and boosting
them across when conditions are right.
That's a new one.
Transmissions across
the Atlantic are uncertain.
I can't sit here all day
waiting to send messages.
I don't believe you, mister.
- Elsa wants to see you.
- What for?
She don't want you
to send no messages.
What's up, Max?
Got a message from Hamburg.
- Him?
- Yeah.
Elsa wants to see him.
Get going.
What'll that do?
It'll make him talk.
It takes time. Three injections.
In about an hour,
he'll be answering questions.
But what'll it do to him?
He'll tell the truth.
Scopolamine, drugs part of the brain.
I want to know about that envelope
and his radio and a lot of other things.
We've got the picture of the pickup
at the shop.
Lange's identified the man.
Good. Match that with all the film
we've got on the Christopher case...
...the Vadja house, Dietrich's office,
the gown shop, everything.
Right. Call you
from the projection room.
That's the man who picked up the book.
Lange's confirmed that.
And that's the match.
No question about it. Freda Kassel's
husband is Mr. Christopher.
- The third member of that household.
- The man posing as her husband.
Yeah, come on. We're going
out and pick up Mr. Christopher.
- Wake up. Wake up and talk.
- We can wait.
You're not going any place. Come on.
We're special agents of the FBl.
You're under arrest.
Where did you send that information?
- Give him another shot.
- That won't do any good.
Well, he's no good to us as he is.
What's the range of your radio?
Thirty miles.
And someone relays
your messages to Hamburg?
- Yes.
Who operates the relay?
You sold the others out, didn't you?
You had them arrested.
Everything looks all right.
See if you can find a phone downstairs.
If he doesn't tell us
what we want to know, shoot him.
Look, let's not lose our heads.
- Yes?
- I'm a special agent of the FBl.
The apartment is surrounded.
- What is it?
- We'll give you exactly two minutes.
Women will come out first.
The men will follow,
hands above their heads.
It's the FBl.
We've got two minutes.
Burn everything. Put it in the fireplace.
Johanna, bring me the papers
on Process 97.
We've already failed once today,
we cannot fail again.
Nothing matters except getting
this information through. Nothing.
There's one chance left.
To contact the courier from Hamburg.
I've got to get out of here.
You cover for me.
Delay them all you can.
It may mean the lives
of every single one of us...
...but this must be on its way
to Hamburg tonight.
- All right, get them up. Get them up.
- Move it.
Okay, stick them up!
Go on.
Get going, get going.
Come on. Go on.
Thus ended the Christopher case.
Elsa Gebhardt, alias Mr. Christopher...
...was no more successful
than other foreign espionage agents.
Process 97...
...the atomic bomb...
...America's top war secret,
remains a secret.
After the United States went to war,
December 7th, 1941...
...16,440 enemy agents, saboteurs...
...and dangerous enemy aliens
were arrested.
Six have already been executed.
Thousands were interned.
Others were in prison
for a sum total of 1880 years.
All of the thoroughly laid enemy plans
for a fifth column...
...were smashed before
they could be put into operation.
Not one single
act of enemy-directed sabotage...
...was perpetrated
within the United States...
...nor was one major
war secret stolen.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation
continues to be the implacable foe...
...of all enemies of the United States.