The third film streamed on my recent trip was STEP BY STEP (1946), watched thanks to the fantastic Watch TCM app.
Like another movie seen last weekend, the similarly titled 5 STEPS TO DANGER (1957), STEP BY STEP is the tale of a couple on the run, mixed up with top secret data and murder.
Evelyn Smith (Anne Jeffreys) has just landed a job as secretary to Senator Remmy (Harry Harvey) and accompanied him to his oceanfront mansion to assist with some confidential work. While swimming at the beach Evelyn meets Johnny (Lawrence Tierney), a recently discharged Marine who makes no secret of his attraction to her.
Unbeknownst to Johnny, the man (Jason Robards Sr.) who introduces himself as Senator Remmy isn't the senator! Johnny is mystified by the new "Evelyn" but there's a portrait on the wall of the Senator so it must be him... It was interesting to me that in the pre-TV '40s, someone wouldn't necessarily know what a senator looked like unless he'd happened to see his photo in the paper, or perhaps in a newsreel!
I found this short little 62-minute film most enjoyable. It's from the MY NAME IS JULIA ROSS (1945) school of movie-making, with crooks "gaslighting" someone about a changed identity in a creepy old mansion on the coast, all wrapped up neatly in just about an hour.
DILLINGER (1945), and while their performances don't have the electric sizzle of that film -- partly because this time they're good guys -- I find them an appealing team with a nice rapport. The characters being stuck wearing bathing suits while navigating their way through life-threatening crises was a unique and amusing touch, while also logically providing an excuse for Johnny to grab a jacket which -- unbeknownst to him -- has top-secret information sewn inside.
STEP BY STEP was directed by Phil Rosen from a screenplay by Stuart Palmer. It was shot in black and white by Frank Redman.
The supporting cast includes Lowell Gilmore and Lee Bonnell.
STEP BY STEP is an RKO film which has been released on a Region 2 DVD. How'd they get so lucky to have this released in Europe? It's not yet available in the U.S., but hopefully it will turn up from the Warner Archive one of these days.
In the meantime, it's been shown on Turner Classic Movies so watch for it to be shown there again in the future.