The script, which was written on a day-to-day basis as the film was being shot, concerns the adventures of a motley crew of swindlers and ne’er-do-wells trying to lay claim to land rich in uranium deposits in Kenya as they wait in a small Italian port to travel aboard an ill-fated tramp steamer en route to Mombasa.
In this classic German thriller, Hans Beckert, a serial killer who preys on children, becomes the focus of a massive Berlin police manhunt. Beckert’s heinous crimes are so repellant and disruptive to city life that he is even targeted by others in the seedy underworld network. With both cops and criminals in pursuit, the murderer soon realizes that people are on his trail, sending him into a tense, panicked attempt to escape justice.
Young auto mechanic Dan Brady takes $20 from a cash register at work to go on a date with blonde femme fatale Vera Novak. Brady intends to put the money back before it is missed, but the garage’s bookkeeper shows up earlier than scheduled. As Brady scrambles to cover evidence of his petty theft, he fast finds himself drawn into an ever worsening “quicksand” of crime.
Baby photographer Ronnie Jackson, on death row in San Quentin, tells reporters how he got there: taking care of his private-eye neighbor’s office, Ronnie is asked by the irresistible Baroness Montay to find the missing Baron. There follow confusing but sinister doings in a gloomy mansion and a private sanatorium, with every plot twist a parody of thriller cliches.