Identity Unknown (1945 film)

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Identity Unknown
Directed byWalter Colmes
Produced byHoward Bretherton (associate producer)
Walter Colmes (associate producer)
Written byRobert Newman (story)
Richard Weil (writer)
StarringSee below
CinematographyErnest Miller
Edited byJohn F. Link Sr.
Distributed byRepublic Pictures
Release date
Running time
71 minutes
79 minutes (Ontario, Canada)
CountryUnited States

Identity Unknown is a 1945 American film directed by Walter Colmes.


The story begins near the end of World War II in Europe. A soldier, suffering from amnesia, is on a hospital ship being helped by Major Williams, a medical doctor. The soldier was the only one of four infantrymen to survive when Nazi dive-bombers destroyed the farm house they were fighting the Germans from. The soldier and the U.S. Army do not know who he is. This is because when the four men's dog tags were found afterwards, they had been blown off their bodies, and the Army does not know which of the four the surviving soldier is.

The soldier, now calling himself Johnny March, decides to find his true identity. When the hospital ship comes into port, he decides to visit the homes of the four different soldiers to find out who he is. However, when he jumps off the train, on his way to an Army hospital, the Army believes he has deserted.

Private Johnny March looks up the first address on his list in Connecticut, and meets Sally, the widow of that soldier, with whom he becomes romantically involved. Since he wasn't her husband, March goes on to the next address in West Virginia.

Upon his arrival, a young boy, Toddy, welcomes him and believes it is his father who has come back. The misunderstanding is cleared up when the boy's babysitter arrives and demands to know who March is. Toddy is disappointed when he finds out that his father hasn't come home. But before he leaves March tells Toddy how his father died so that children could grow up in a free world.

March then goes on to Chicago, the next address, where he meets that soldier's brother, a younger man named Joe. Joe works in a bookie joint as a cashier. As they talk, a gangster named Rocks Donnelly enters and demands that Joe pays him $6,000. Joe explains to his boss and March that he stole the money from Rocks to win money to finance a college education. When another rivaling gangster arrives to the scene, there is a shoot-out between the gangsters. Joe is wounded as he takes the bullets meant for Rocks Donnelly.

March accompanies Joe to the hospital and Rocks comes to thank Joe for saving his life. It turns out Joe isn't interested in joining the mob, but wants to be a physician that his brother hoped to be. Donnelly offers to pay for his education.

Johnny attends Donnelly's celebration party that same night, and meets Wanda, Donnelly's girlfriend. After talking to March, Wanda realizes March is in love with another woman, and tells Johnny to call Sally and tell her. Sally tells Johnny to find his identity first, and then return to her to continue their relationship.

Johnny visits the last address on his list, the home of a soldier who lived on a farm in Iowa, but Peter's parents doesn't recognize him. They are about to sell their farm, after getting the news that their boy was killed in action. Before they can go through with the sale, March helps them realize the farm is where all their happy memories are, and the auction is stopped.

Sally calls, saying she has arrived at a nearby train station, and Johnny hurries over there. On the way, he is caught by the local sheriff for speeding and then by the military police for being AWOL. He is taken by the MPs to the Army hospital and the Army begin efforts to discover his identity.

Later Sally arrives and the doctors tell her that they now know who March really is, but he needs to discover it himself. After asking March a few questions, related to his pre-war career, March remembers he is Captain Charles Aldridge. He had not been one of the four in the farm house, but on a mission to try to drop them supplies. Charles and Sally are able to leave the camp together to start a new life.[1]



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