***SPOILERS***Private investigator Mike Barnett gets an urgent telephone call about meeting the unknown caller on the Staten Island Ferry the next morning. Barnett is told by the caller that he'll spill the beans about a major communist spy ring that originates out of New York City that's planning to rig the city and state elections-1953 is an election years for local politics-in order to get their boys and girls into office and thus undermined the legal and democratic electoral system. That's before they go national- in building up enough steam- in the upcoming 1954 senate & congressional elections.
Not taking any chances, in dismissing the call as that of a kook, Barnett heads for the Ferry to meet his contact only to later find him murdered and locked in his car trunk. It's then that Barnett runs into one of the few passengers on the ferry boat this "Fat Man" who besides making conversation with Barnett is looking for his lunch box that went missing while he was stuffing his face with hot dogs and soda pop.
***SPOILERS***It soon turns out that the person who contacted Barnett hid a list of names in the lunch box's thermos jar of communist agents & spies planning to take over the USA by planting theirs stooges in high office. That in order to open up the country for a major communist takeover. With the "Fat Man" getting wind of what he knows now planning to knock off Barnett, by pulling a gun on him, he gets the surprise of his life. That in Barnett getting a life line, or some 50 life preservers, just in time before the "Fat Man" had a chance to pull the trigger on him. P.S Check out a young-He was 33 years old at the time-Jack Warden as the ferry deck hand who's forced to clean up the mess-in trying to warn him to what was coming down-that Barnett made.
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