IMDb > Nancy Drew: Detective (1938)
Nancy Drew: Detective
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Nancy Drew: Detective (1938) More at IMDbPro »

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6.9/10   560 votes »
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Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Kenneth Gamet (original screenplay)
Mildred Wirt Benson (story)
View company contact information for Nancy Drew: Detective on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 November 1938 (USA) See more »
After a wealthy dowager who has made a substantial donation her alma mater suddenly disappears, Nancy Drew sets out to solve the mystery. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Drew Alias Granville Works Well See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Bonita Granville ... Nancy Drew

John Litel ... Carson Drew

James Stephenson ... Challon

Frankie Thomas ... Ted Nickerson

Frank Orth ... Captain Tweedy
Helena Phillips Evans ... Mary Eldredge

Renie Riano ... Effie Schneider

Charles Trowbridge ... Hollister

Dick Purcell ... Keiffer

Edward Keane ... Adam Thorne (as Ed Keane)

Mae Busch ... Miss Tyson
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Tommy Bupp ... Spud Murphy (uncredited)
Betty Jane Graham ... Brinwood Student (uncredited)

Stuart Holmes ... Telegrapher (uncredited)

Vera Lewis ... Miss Van Deering (uncredited)

Jack Mower ... Radio Station Technician (uncredited)

John Ridgely ... Radio Station Technician (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Farmer (uncredited)
Joanne Tree ... Brinwood Student with Black Hat (uncredited)
Brandon Tynan ... Dr. Raymond 'Ray' Spires (uncredited)
Lottie Williams ... Mrs. Ray Spires (uncredited)
Tom Wilson ... Brennan, the Gate Guard (uncredited)

Directed by
William Clemens 
Writing credits
Kenneth Gamet (original screenplay)

Mildred Wirt Benson (story "The Password to Larkspur Lane") (as Carolyn Keene)

Produced by
Bryan Foy .... producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
Cinematography by
L. William O'Connell  (as L. Wm. O'Connell)
Film Editing by
Frank Magee 
Art Direction by
Stanley Fleischer 
Costume Design by
Milo Anderson (gowns)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lester D. Guthrie .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Stanley Jones .... sound
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Max Steiner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
John Langan .... dialogue director
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
66 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Adapted from the "Nancy Drew" novel, "The Password to Larkspur Lane," first published in 1933. The original author of the novel was Walter Karig (using the Stratemayer Syndicate house pseudonym, "Carolyn Keene"). In the "Nancy Drew" books, Nancy's boyfriend is named Ned Nickerson. For the 1938-39 movie series, his name was changed to Ted Nickerson (played by Frankie Thomas).See more »
Crew or equipment visible: The wire attached to the carrier pigeon's leg to prevent it from flying off is visible a number of times.See more »
Theodore 'Ted' Nickerson:What's the matter, the Recession still on?See more »
Movie Connections:


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13 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
Drew Alias Granville Works Well, 11 October 2003
Author: jcholguin ( from los angeles

I have never read a Nancy Drew book, I was more into the Hardy Boy books and the only exposure to Nancy Drew was a television series in the 70's. After seeing this very old version of Nancy Drew starring Bonita Granville, a familiar name involving a dog named Lassie, I vote this film as the best and most interesting story for someone that is unbiased. Granville plays Drew with excitement and girlish energy. A mind that is continuing thinking of "possibilities" when an old lady disappears. John Litel plays Carson Drew which I believe showcases the talent of Litel with poise, wits and fatherly love. Lastly, Ted Nickerson, a boy that Nancy likes and uses is played by Frankie Thomas. This is a solid mystery team for the whole film.

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