The Nick Carter character has been around for a good many years in one form or another. Not read any of the earliest, just the resurrection as an American spy in the Killmaster series. So I’m not really sure how this filmed version stacks up. it’s an original screenplay by Walter R. Lipman set before the U.S. entered WWII. The great Walter Pidgeon palys the long-lived detective in this seriocomic tale of the fifth column looking to make inroads in American society and how Carter gets invovled uncovering and stopping their latest plot.
Carter arrives in D.C. at the instigation of his friend Cortland Grant, aboard the rich man’s own plane, to meet a Senator heading up a committee investigating subversive groups like the Nazis. When asked to join him in his investigations, Carter refuses and flies back to California, again on his friend’s plane. This time he’s accompanied by six beautiful young women and their chaperone, P.I. Christine Cross(Joyce Compton). Also along is polo star Andrew Hendon(Tom Conway), suspected of being in the group the Senator is investigating. He’s found murdered in a locked cabin just as the plane is landing, a nail file sticking in his neck. The file belongs to one of the models, Pat Evans(Karen Verne) and Carter himself had seen her coming out of the cabin.
Then three spies try to murder her by killing the pilot and setting the plane on a wild ride across the airfield. Carter to the rescue though.
Carter believes her protestations of innocence, though she seems to be hiding something, and sets out to prove how Hendon was murdered in a locked cabin that she’d been seen leaving and why they wanted her murdered as well.
The comic part comes with the P.I. Christine Cross and her efforts to arrest Carter and his partner, Bartholomew “Beeswax”(Donald Meek), the other half of the comedy. Bartholomew is a bald-headed little gnome of a man that carries around a pocketful of honeybees. I’ll give him his due though. He’s a pretty good scraper and is prone to pulling out a large pistol with lots of threats to use it.