After he's approached by Nazi spies who want him to work undercover for the enemy, German-American college student Bill Dietrich (Eythe) contacts the FBI. Bureau chief George Briggs (Nolan) taps Bill to become a double agent, and he agrees, infiltrating a spy ring headed by Elsa Gebhardt (Hasso) in her Manhattan townhouse. The Nazis, he soon learns, are after data related to "Process 97" — the secret American effort to build an atomic bomb.
Narrated in semi-documentary style and produced by "March of Time" newsreel creator Louis de Rochemont, Hathaway's intriguing WWII espionage thriller helped set in motion the semi-documentary vogue, featuring gritty on-location shooting and stories based on actual cases. Combining extant footage of German spies, a cast of unfamiliar stage actors and real-life FBI agents, and Reed Hadley's stern voiceover, "House" certainly has a true-to-life feel. But it's the tightly paced action and atmospheric, spy vs. spy suspense that turned this noir nail-biter into a bona fide box-office hit.