I Was an American Spy is a true story, based on a series of autobiographical Reader's Digest articles written by Claire Phillips. Ann Dvorak stars as Ms. Phillips, an American nightclub singer trapped in Singapore when the Japanese march in. Having lost her husband to the Bataan death march, Phillips agrees to join an American secret agent (Gene Evans) in undermining the Japanese occupation troops. She is captured by the enemy, tortured, and sentenced to be shot, but is rescued at the last minute by her American contact. I Was an American Spy handles its more brutal scenes with a marked degree of tastefulness, thanks to the careful direction of Lesley Selander. Just as in their wartime movie appearances, Chinese actor Richard Loo and Korean actor Philip Ahn are eminently hissable as the Japanese villains.
by Hal Erickson synopsis