Idealistic Emily (McGillis) comes up before a senate committee in 1951 and refuses to name names, loses her job on Life magazine, and is subjected to surveillance. By chance, she stumbles upon a plot to smuggle Nazis into the country, and FBI agent Cochran (Daniels) believes her story but is repeatedly warned off. Yates isn't Hitchcock, however, and the cruel cat-and-mouse structure of Notorious crumbles to allow for The Janitor to make another pass. Walter Bernstein's script unfortunately can't quite make up its mind to finger the American government for giving useful Nazi war criminals sanctuary in the early '50s, and hedges its bets. On the entertainment level, though, it's an efficient, good-looking movie, thanks to Michael Ballhaus' photography of period New York. The tension relies a bit too much on footfalls on gloomy stairwells, and the villain's silkinesss lacks menace. But there are plenty of nice touches: straight-arrow Cochran making love to Emily between surveillance duties at a stake-out; Tandy's imperious old lady with the binoculars.
Cast and crew