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Darkest Hour Before Dawn
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Email Address. Wait, hold on.. I'm onto you, movie. Good boy. Some say this is the film that tanked Veronica Lake's career and it's pretty easy to see why. A capable actress given the right material and proper direction, here she flounders as an unsympathetic Nazi spy, putting her character and her fake Austrian accent across with all the conviction of a kid in a school play.
Adapted from a Novel by W. Somerset Maugham, the story doesn't help much Franchot Tone as Lake's pacifist husband is his usual bland self, adding little to what amounts to a pretty forgettable film. She is part of a gang of Nazi spies out to help german planes bomb a nearby British military base. This is granted.
Dora is ordered to provide German bombers with a bearing to a camouflaged airfield using the headlights of May's car. She is caught in the act by May's son Tommy, but claims May must have left the lights on. Dora has to turn them off before the bombers arrive, so the airfield is saved.
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Jim and Dora marry to save her from being removed from the district. Kurt plans to use Jim in an effort to convince influential English people to consider capitulation. He sends a fake letter to Jim, asking him to join an effort to educate refugee children, a task Jim is eager to accept. When they meet, Kurt suggests to Jim that the Germans might consider negotiating terms for peace with Britain.
“The Hour Before the Dawn” () | The Counterfeit Writer
Jim tells Dora afterwards that Kurt spoke more like a German than a Dutchman. Worried, Dora telephones van der Breughel and recommends bombing the airfield that night. She pours gasoline over a hay wagon. Tommy shows up unexpectedly and, undetected, sees what she is doing. She locks him in a room, but when he blurts out that he knows what she is up to, she pulls out a pistol.
Just then, she hears the bombers approaching and rushes out to set fire to the hay.