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Secret Service of the Air (1939)

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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 142 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

Brass Bancroft and his sidekick Gabby Watters are recruited onto the secret service and go undercover to crack a ruthless gang that smuggles illegal aliens.


(as Noel Smith)


(original screen play), (based upon material compiled by: ex-chief of U.S. Secret Service)
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Title: Secret Service of the Air (1939)

Secret Service of the Air (1939) on IMDb 5.7/10

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Complete credited cast:
Ila Rhodes ...
Pamela Schuyler
James Stephenson ...
Jim Cameron
Eddie Foy Jr. ...
Rosella Towne ...
Zelma Warren
Larry Williams ...
Dick Wayne
John Ridgely ...
Joe LeRoy
Anthony Averill ...
Bernard Nedell ...
Earl 'Ace' Hemrich
Frank M. Thomas ...
Joe Cunningham ...
Agent Dawson
Morgan Conway ...
Edward V. Powell
John Harron ...
Agent Cliff Durell
Herbert Rawlinson ...
Adm. A.C. Schuyler


Illegal aliens are being flown in from Mexico by small plane. When a Secret Service agent finds out, he is killed and the smuggling is shut down for awhile. Brass, an ex-Navy flyer who is now flying the Pacific Clipper route, is chosen by the Service to find out who is behind this smuggling ring. Since they know that an ex-smuggler named Ace was part of the gang, Brass is put into the general prison population to try to get information from him. It is from Ace that he learns where the smugglers are located, but it is up to Brass to infiltrate the ring and bring the head man across the border to be arrested. Written by Tony Fontana <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THRILL SECRETS OF THE SECRET SERVICE! (original poster - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

4 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secret Service of the Air  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The IWW, or more commonly known as the Wobblies, was a worldwide leftist labor organization founded in 1905 by socialists, progressives, and anarchists. It has always been viewed with suspicion by the government and lost considerable power in the years following World War II with the Taft-Hartly Act forbidding Communist leadership of labor unions. See more »


Gabby Watters: [to detective] No so fast! Not so fast! Why, one word from me to the chief and that badge'll be as useless to you as a compass was to Corrigan.
[to detective]
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She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes
Sung a cappella by Ronald Reagan with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

Timely subject gets the B-film treatment in early Reagan film...
4 March 2009 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Warner Bros. used their B-films as a training ground for their new contract players and this time it's RONALD REAGAN's turn to take his place as leading man in an action-filled melodrama about the Secret Service and a plan to trap criminals who are responsible for bringing illegal aliens into the U.S. from Mexico via plane.

JOHN RIDGELY is an airline pilot at the controls when he has to dispose of the illegals when the feds are closing in on them. The shocking moment has him flipping a switch so the passenger compartment opens up, ridding him of all the illegals in flight.

But the rest of the story is routine stuff, with JAMES STEPHENSON as the man heading the ring who at first trusts that Reagan (who has joined the illegals under pretext of being a criminal) is okay to be one of his pilots. It's swiftly paced and the only drawback is the comedy relief supplied by EDDIE FOY, JR. in the kind of role Frank McHugh usually played in Warner flicks.

Reagan acquits himself well as the 20-year-old newcomer and has a couple of fight scenes that look as though the stunt men got quite a workout.

Summing up: Not bad for a B-film that played the lower half of double bills.

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