World War I ended November 1918. Germany had lost and sanctions against it were severe. Germany blamed the loss on Britain and specifically on the code breakers that worked in a department called Room 40. Room 40 was located in the old British Admiralty building. German messages were intercepted and a team of experts from Room 40 would decipher the messages and expose the Nazi plots.
Germany was determined to not let the allies defeat them again. A special German agent was trained and placed in Room 40. Should war break out again they would already have a spy in place. Their plan bore fruit when in 1939 war was declared and WWII began.
The head of Room 40 is Sir Christopher Pelt (C. Aubrey Smith). His main code breaker is John Usher (Edgar Barrier). Just recently his fiancé, Sudan Ainger (Stephanie Bachelor), also started working in Room 40. Usher’s son David (Bobby Cooper) is away at school in Switzerland. With war breaking out David is called home.
John is a brilliant code breaker. When he breaks the Nazi’s most recent code he is murdered before he can reveal it. Sir Pelt contacts John’s twin brother Robert (Edgar Barrier) for help. Robert poses as John to try to find out who among the agents in Room 40 is the Nazi spy.
“Secrets of Scotland Yard” was released in 1944 and was directed by George Blair. It is a low budget American poverty row thriller and propaganda film. It was based on the story “Room 40, O.B.” by Denison Clift. Clift also wrote the screenplay.
This was a fairly decent mystery thriller. Not because of the story, which was so-so, but because of the acting talent. There are quite a few former stars and great character actors here. As examples; C. Aubrey Smith, Lionel Atwill, Henry Stephenson, John Abbott and Martin Kosleck. That being said, most of the acting is great, but not all of it. Some of the situations seemed a little contrived as well, but we are mainly talking about a WWII propaganda style film made during the height of the war, so the main objective it to outwit Nazis.
Although the film takes place in Britain, the movie was shot in California.