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Open Secret

USA 1948. Dir: John Reinhardt. 68 min. 35mm

NEW, RESTORED 35mm PRINT! “He was playing Hitler, but in the wrong precinct.” Austrian émigré John Reinhardt’s low-budget, “lost” film noir, originally released by Poverty Row’s Eagle-Lion Films, is a gritty, claustrophobic drama confronting anti-Semitism in postwar Middle America. When newlyweds Paul (John Ireland) and Nancy (Jane Randolph) arrive in town as houseguests of Paul’s army buddy Ed, they discover that Ed has mysteriously gone missing and the community is being threatened by a shadowy, sinister “patriotic” organization made up of white supremacists. Two major-studio Hollywood pictures dealing with anti-Semitism, Gentleman’s Agreement and Crossfire (the latter also a noir) appeared around the same time. Vancouver-born Ireland was Oscar-nominated the next year for his supporting role in All the King’s MenPreservation funded by The Packard Humanities Institute.