IMDb > Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)

Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Bertram Millhauser (screen play)
Bertram Millhauser (based on a story by) ...
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Release Date:
15 December 1939 (USA) See more »
THE WIZARD OF CLUES!!! Nick Carter lives again in the fierce brutal...dangerous era of TODAY!
Detective Nick Carter is brought in to foil spies at the Radex Airplane Factory, where a new fighter plane is under manufacture. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Slick spy adventure with light touch See more (19 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Walter Pidgeon ... Nick Carter / Robert Chalmers

Rita Johnson ... Lou Farnsby

Henry Hull ... John A. Keller

Stanley Ridges ... Doctor Frankton (as Stanley C. Ridges)

Donald Meek ... Bartholomew

Addison Richards ... Hiram Streeter

Henry Victor ... J. Lester Hammil

Milburn Stone ... Dave Krebs

Martin Kosleck ... Otto King

Frank Faylen ... Pete

Sterling Holloway ... Bee-Catcher
Wally Maher ... Cliff Parsons
Edgar Dearing ... Denny
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ernie Alexander ... Factory Workman (uncredited)
Louis V. Arco ... Yacht Captain (uncredited)

Frank Ball ... Peake the Gardener (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Engel - X-49 Workman (uncredited)

Don Castle ... Ed - 1st Hurt Worker (uncredited)
Eddy Chandler ... Joe - Blueprint Security Officer (uncredited)

Gene Coogan ... Welder (uncredited)

Paul Ellis ... Faber - Henchman (uncredited)
Charles Flynn ... Factory Workman (uncredited)

Bud Geary ... Seaman on Yacht (uncredited)

Chuck Hamilton ... Entrance Guard (uncredited)

Edward Hearn ... Deputy (uncredited)

Kenner G. Kemp ... Student (uncredited)
William Lally ... Exit Guard (uncredited)

Richard Lane ... Sam Vaughn (uncredited)

Carey Loftin ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Wilfred Lucas ... Police Detective Randall (uncredited)
Joseph P. Mack ... Draughtsman (uncredited)

George Meeker ... Hartley (uncredited)
Roger Moore ... Streeter's Secretary (uncredited)
William Newell ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Riley - Airplane Workman (uncredited)
Lee Prather ... Police Captain (uncredited)

Charles Sherlock ... Keller's Driver (uncredited)
Ray Spiker ... Factory Workman (uncredited)
Harry Templeton ... Police Driver (uncredited)
Richard Terry ... Cain - Henchman (uncredited)
Andrew Tombes ... Robinson (uncredited)

Harry Tyler ... Locker Room Attendant (uncredited)

Directed by
Jacques Tourneur 
Writing credits
Bertram Millhauser (screen play)

Bertram Millhauser (based on a story by) and
Harold Buckley (based on a story by)

Produced by
Lucien Hubbard .... producer
Original Music by
Edward Ward 
Daniele Amfitheatrof (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Charles Lawton Jr. (director of photography) (as Charles Lawton)
Film Editing by
Elmo Veron (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
Production Management
Jerry Bresler .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sandy Roth .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Howard Campbell .... associate art director
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Carey Loftin .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Luther Bradley .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Music Department
Leo Arnaud .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
59 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Sweden:15 | UK:A | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #5821) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

With this speech, Nick Carter derides three of his contemporary movie detectives: Nick Charles, Charlie CHan, and Sherlock Holmes: "Look, I'm not a storybook detective with, uh, a highball glass in one hand (Nick Charles) and, uh, a Chinese proverb (Charlie CHan) in another, nor can I tell you from the ashes of a man's cigar (Sherlock Holmes) that he, uh, had kippered herring for breakfast and hit his grandmother over the head with an ax.See more »
Lou Farnsby:[to Keller] They call me "The Weagle." That's a combination of the wasp and an eagle.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Fallen Idol (1948)See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Slick spy adventure with light touch, 11 October 2013
Author: csteidler from Minnesota

Walter Pidgeon is breezy, clever and tough as master detective Nick Carter in this spies-in-the-airplane-factory adventure that contains plenty of laughs and a couple of good action scenes.

An exciting opening sequence features a pilot setting down his plane in the middle of the desert, snatching up some valuable plans, and dashing off on foot to meet his waiting cohorts. Passenger Nick Carter—on the plane incognito—races after him, rescues the plans and jumps back on the ship as the flight nurse starts up the plane and flies it away to safety. It's all pretty far-fetched but it's well staged and the actors give it plenty of zip.

Rita Johnson is fine as flight attendant, nurse, sometime pilot and possible spy named Lou. Unfortunately, her character isn't given quite enough to do after the daring plane ride, but she and Pidgeon are good together, their characters initially suspicious but eventually rather fond of each other.

Donald Meek is bizarre but irrepressible as an amateur detective who calls himself "Bartholomew the B Man." He keeps bees in his hat and follows Carter around offering theories and advice. The two exchange standard but likable enough B movie dialog: "What made you say murder?" "Because it looks like suicide."

A decent plot moves along briskly—bad guys are smuggling out top secret airplane plans—but it's really the stars who hold our interest. Walter Pidgeon is actually a lot of fun: "If I'm wrong, I'll apologize," he smirks whenever proposing a new theory.

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