A secret agent goes after the gang that stole the crown jewels of a European monarchy.

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, (as Cliff Smith)

Writers:

(news feature), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jean Rogers ...
David Oliver ...
Pidge
Monte Blue ...
Baron Michael Karsten
...
Blackstone
Larry J. Blake ...
Chief FBI Agent Wheeler (as Larry Blake)
Henry Hunter ...
FBI Agent Tommy Dawson (C-5)
George Shelley ...
Henchman Packard
...
Maroni (primary henchman)
Si Jenks ...
'Jolly Roger' ticket barker [Chs. 1, 4, 7-9]
Lynn Gilbert ...
Rose, gang moll [Chs. 2, 6-7, 12]
Robert Dalton ...
Thurston
Leonard Lord ...
Ransom (dissident henchman) [Chs. 1-6]
Ben Hewlett ...
Scarlett (primary henchman) (as Bentley Hewlett)
Bob Kortman ...
'Trader' Delaney [Chs. 7-9, 11-12] (as Robert Kortman)
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Storyline

In Chapter One (Modern Pirates), the G-Men learn that "Brenda", notorious jewel thief, is heading for the United States, to steal the Belgravian crown jewels currently on exhibit. The gems are placed on a ship bound for Belgravia, the guard is murdered and the jewels stolen. Secret Agent X-9 trails Blackstone, one of the gang, who hides the gems in a safe deposit vault of a bank. He takes the bank receipt to an art shop, where Marker, an accomplice, conceals it between an oil painting and its frame. X-9 arrests Blackstone and pursues Marker, and leaps into the speedboat Marker is getting away in. The speedboat crashes in to a buoy...see Chapter Two at this theatre next week. Shara Graustark) and Baron Michael Karsten, embassy attaché responsible for the jewels, show up next week and the remaining chapters deal with the recovery of the jewels and the unmasking of the mysterious "Brenda". Charters 9 through 12 find Brenda masquerading as the Baron and this complicates things for X-9 and... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

DEATH! DANGER! DESTRUCTION!---JUST HALF AN INCH AWAY! 12 thrill-throbbing chapters of a whirlwind serial that'll leave you breathless! Boats crash, guns blaze, harpoons dart, dynamite explodes---but Secret Agent X-9 fights his way through! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 April 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agente Secreto X-9  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(12 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Secret Agent X-9 was actually created by mystery writer Dashiell Hammett for a 1934 comic strip, drawn by "Flash Gordon" creator Alex Raymond, for the Hearst-owned King Features Syndicate, which wanted a crime-fighting strip to compete with "Dick Tracy." See more »

Goofs

Chapter 7: Seams in the backdrop when Dexter is looking for Blackstone on the roof top. See more »

Crazy Credits

Chapter forewords are depicted with cartoon panels. See more »

Connections

Followed by Secret Agent X-9 (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Strip creators Dashiell Hammett and Alex Raymond go uncredited.

"Secret Agent X-9", the newspaper comic strip created by Dashiell Hammett and artist Alex Raymond for Hearst's King Features Syndicate that made it's debut on January 22, 1934 received no credits when this Universal serial was released on April 12, 1937. But, by that time, both Hammett, as the scripter, and Raymond, as the artist and scripter, had departed the strip, although the newspaper comic strip's title retained "Dashiell Hammett's Secret Agent X-9" past the time he was no longer involved.

This film was Universal's 34th sound-era serial, and fell between "Jungle Jim" and "Wild West Days" in the production and release order. "Flash Gordon" was Universal's 30th serial and "Jungle Jim" was the 33rd, so artist/writer Alex Raymond's comic strip creations had been the basis for three of the last five serials Universal had made in that period of time. With two more "Flash Gordon" serials to come and another version of "Secret Agent X-9" in 1945, characters originally drawn and/or created by Raymond, one of greats of the comic strip genre, accounted for six of Universal's 69 serials. Actually, it is closer to seven since Raymond had worked on Lyman Young's "Tim Tyler's Luck" until 1934, which became Universal's 37th sound serial. Hammett left the strip in 1935, and the scenario gap was temporarily filled by an uncredited Leslie Charteris, creator of "The Saint." The actual basis credit on the serial was a line---on the film and all of the posters and ads---that read "From the Sensational Sleuth Cartoon Strip by Charles Flanders-Owned and Copyrighted by King Features Syndicate 1/22/34." The background art work, used in the film and on the posters, press book and most of the ads, came from 1936-37 dailies credited to Charles Flanders on the daily strips but still appearing in the style of Raymond, so Raymond's long-time ghoster Austin Briggs may have still been doing work on the daily panels. The press book does contain a still of Charles Flanders at work drawing a panel. "X-9" had no name during this era of the comic strip, but did tell a character who asked in the fifth day of the daily strip in January, 1934 to..."Call me Dexter. It's not my name but it'll do." Universal evidently thought "it'll do" for the serial also. He later, much, much later, acquired the name of "Corrigan" and the title of the strip was changed to "Secret Agent Corrigan" in the 70's.

In Chapter One (Modern Pirates), the G-Men learn that "Brenda", notorious jewel thief, is heading for the United States, to steal the Belgravian crown jewels currently on exhibit. The gems are placed on a ship bound for Belgravia, the guard is murdered and the jewels stolen. Secret Agent X-9 (Scott Kolk) trails Blackstone (Henry Brandon), one of the gang, who hides the gems in a safe deposit vault of a bank. He takes the bank receipt to an art shop, where Marker (Max Hoffman, Jr.), and accomplice, conceals it between an oil painting and its frame. X-9 arrests Blackstone and pursues Marker, and leaps into the speedboat Marker is getting away in. The speedboat crashes in to a buoy...see Chapter Two at this theatre next week. Jean Rogers (as Shara Graustark) and Monte Blue (as Baron Michael Karsten, embassy attaché responsible for the jewels) show up next week and the remaining chapters deal with the recovery of the jewels and the unmasking of the mysterious "Brenda". Charters 9 through 12 find Brenda masquerading as the Baron and this complicates things for X-9 and, of course, the Baron. Those in weekly attendance in 1937, if they paid attention to some of the stills and lobby cards on display, knew who Brenda was long before X-9 did.


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