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Secret Service of the Air (1939)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  4 March 1939 (USA)
5.6
Your rating:
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 163 users  
Reviews: 9 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.

Director:

(as Noel Smith)

Writers:

(original screen play) (as Raymond Schrock) , (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 5.6/10

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Cast

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

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Contrabandistas del aire  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stock footage of Pan American M-130 Clipper. See more »

Quotes

Tom Saxby: From what I know of Bnncroft, he's the man for the job.
See more »

Connections

Followed by Murder in the Air (1940) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Ronald Reagan with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For a "B", it ain't bad
11 July 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The film begins with some criminals transporting illegal aliens into the US from Mexico. However, this is NOT the typical group of illegals--many are criminals and those running the business are evil scum. This becomes apparent when the plane is almost captured by a Secret Service agent. How he and the rest of the passengers were done away with in an early scene was truly horrifying and shocked me.

Later, airline pilot Ronald Reagan is approached by the Secret Service and asked to join. The problem is, they need to ruin his clean reputation so that the mob will believe he is their kind of person, so government frames Reagan and sends him for a short stint in prison--after which time he makes contact with the crooks and infiltrates the gang.

This was an obvious B-movie from Warner Brothers due to the style of film (emphasizing action and a very fast pace), the fact that the movie is filled with unknown actors (even star Ronald Reagan was a definite newcomer to the screen) and its short length (at just over one hour). Often, over the years' "B" has come to mean bad or second-rate, though this movie is pretty good considering that it was meant to be a lesser film in a double-feature. Sure, you can't compare it to the very best films of the time, but this breezy little film is a good showcase for Reagan and helps to hide his relatively wooden screen persona. I liked Reagan but gotta admit he wasn't the most charismatic actor of his age. About the only other negatives are common in B's and these are plot holes--little inconsistencies or logical errors that were never effectively dealt with, such as how easy it was for Reagan's cover to get blown--but what do you expect for 63 minutes?!


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