I enjoyed this early Robert Siodmak film which was on You  Tube. (A 35mm restored print of the film is being shown in Film Noir Festivals in America).

Reminiscent of “The 39 Steps”, Richard Carlson plays a doctor caught up in a spy ring led by Albert Basserman (yes, that lovely character from “Foreign Correspondent” and “A Woman’s Face”.)

Nancy  Kelly  is also innocently involved in the intrigue.


Richard Carlson, Nancy Kelly


Martin Kosleck

Martin Kosleck(1904-1994) plays an assistant to the scientist (Miles Mander) who has invented a new weapon. Kosleck was only in movies for under a decade before moving to television. He became a painter in later life.

It’s ironic , considering he escaped Nazi Germany, that he often played foreign spies including playing Goebbels several times (“Confessions of a Nazi Spy”, “The Hitler Gang.”)

He played the Count of Monte Cristo in THE WIFE OF MONTE CRISTO (1946) – though he is off the screen a lot!


Miles Mander


Always good to have Clem Bevans in a few scenes.


Albert Basserman, Richard Carlson, Marion Martin

Marion Martin plays an unlikely nurse!

“Fly By Night”  has a lot going for it and I hope it makes it to dvd.


Richard Carlson, Robert Siodmak


Nancy Kelly

A shame Nancy Kelly (1921-1995) wasn’t a bigger star. A former child actress, she was active in the late 30s and 40s – FRONTIER MARSHALL. SHOW BUSINESS, JESSE JAMES.Following the success of THE BAD SEED which she did on stage, Nancy did the film version in 1956.
Her career was then mainly stage and television.

She was briefly married to Edmond O’Brien in 1941/42, and her brother Jack Kelly was one of the Maverick  brothers.

I must catch up with two of her films which are on You Tube , both from 1944 – DOUBLE EXPOSURE and GAMBLER’S CHOICE.


Director Robert Siodmak (1900-1973) only made just over 20 films in Hollywood before returning to Germany after making “The Crimson Pirate” in 1952. He’s known for his thrillers like PHANTOM LADY. THE KILLERS, THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE. But his start in Hollywood was in lighter ‘B’ s.

”Fly By Night” was his second US film. Of the three films he made at Paramount in 1941/42, Richard Carlson was in all three. ( the other two were WEST POINT WIDOW and MY HEART BELONGS TO DADDY.)

I’d like to see one of Siodmak’s  films, SOMEONE TO REMEMBER (1943), starring Mabel Paige whom I’ve  become a fan of after seeing her as George Raft’s feisty mother in “Nocturne”.


8 responses »

  1. Incidentally I just saw this movie too. It’s a fun little flick. I always consider Richard Carlson good value for the money.

    As for escapees from Nazi Germany (Jewish or not) who played Nazis in Hollywood, there were many. Not all of them had a problem with it. Conrad Veidt didn’t mind it much. He even had a stipulation written into his contract that all the Nazis he played onscreen (quite a lot) could never be anything less than absolutely evil. No shades of gray for him. He considered it his contribution to the war effort.

  2. Good for Conrad Veidt! Glad you enjoyed the movie. Would have been great to see a good print on the big screen. But thank goodness for YT.

  3. I’ve never seen this and would like to, but the print I came across on YT is pretty grotty and I’m not sure I can sit through it. On the other hand, if a better print does exist and is doing the rounds, then it’s only a matter of time before it becomes available in one form or another.

  4. Sounds interesting! It’s funny, I never thought of Nancy Kelly doing anything else other than The Bad Seed.

  5. Carlson is always a welcome presence in my book/screen? Thanks for the heads up on this one, Vienna!

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