Passport to Suez (1943)

On August 19, 1943, Columbia Pictures released Passport to Suez (1943).  Warren William plays Michael Lanyard, the Lone Wolf, for the final time in this film.  The film opens in Alexandria, Egypt, where Lanyard has just arrived.  Lanyard meets up with his old friend Johnny Booth, a successful cafe’ owner.  However, Lanayard’s real purpose is a mission for British Intelligence.

warren-william

Warren William from the Public Domain

While having dinner with Booth, Lanyard receives a message to meet with his contact.  However, it is actually a trap to force Lanyard to work for the Axis powers.  Lanyard agrees to the arrangement to save his old friend Jameson but secretly plans to double cross the enemy.  However, the blackmailers are aware of Lanyard’s planned deception.  They are trying to divert Lanyard from their real target, the Suez Canal.

Complicating Lanyard’s mission is the arrival of Jameson’s son, a Naval Officer, and his mysterious sweetheart.  Throw in a few double agents and a unique chase scene to end the film, William’s series finale is a worthy bow out.

Sheldon Leonard plays Johnny Booth in this film.  Leonard was born on February 22, 1907 in New York City.  While Leonard did some acting at Syracuse University, he obtained a job as a stock broker after college.  The 1929 Stock Market Crash sent Leonard back to acting.

Leonard played in 106 films from the mid-1930s on.  Leonard normally played a mysterious character or villian in films.  Passport to Suez was one of the few films, where Leonard plays a hero.

In the 1950s, Sheldon Leonard began to produce television shows.  Leonard would develop into one of the most powerful television producers in history.

Passport to Suez continued the more serious direction of the series and away from the comedic bits in the earlier films.  I saw this film on Amazon Prime recently and found it quite entertaining. Passport to Suez runs about 72 minutes.

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