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Secret Service of the Air (1939)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 156 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), (based upon material compiled by: ex-chief of U.S. Secret Service)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Saxby
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 ...
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
Edit

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:

INTERNATIONAL SPIES! BEWARE! No one will learn important government air secrets as long as Uncle Sam's daring secret service men are here! (original poster) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Luftens hemmelige Politi  »

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

Guy Usher is in studio records for the role of "Morrow", but that role was played by Pierre Watkin. See more »

Quotes

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


Soundtracks

Shuffle Off to Buffalo
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Sung a cappella twice by Eddie Foy Jr. with modified lyrics
about San Francisco
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'B' movie, as in 'Brass Bancroft'

Too many people even today still don't realize the "B" designation merely meant lower budget -- or, sometimes, low budget.

This particular "B" movie -- the first in a series -- didn't cost as much to make as, say, an equally action-packed flick with Errol Flynn, but there is still an entertaining aspect.

The cast is a good one, with some top-notch talent not even getting screen credit. Such stellar names as John Hamilton, and Eddy Chandler and Lane Chandler, Pierre Watkin and Pat O'Malley, are not names at all, until a fan comes to IMDb to look.

Ronald Reagan is the star, and he was still looking to break out of the ranks, after being overshadowed (and I honestly don't understand why, after seeing the film recently) in "Brother Rat" by Eddie Albert.

Yes, Albert turned into a great actor, but in "Brother Rat" he was rather blah, possibly because his character was, and Reagan came across stronger, again possibly because of his character.

In this movie, Reagan shines: He is a very good-looking man, with a great smile, and he handles the action scenes well, and, perhaps most important, he displays a very winning personality.

The Brass Bancroft character appeared in several more films of this popular series and finally, after doing well as secondary characters in bigger-budget movies (with the like of Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart), he got his chance at stardom.

This "Secret Service" entry might not seem like anything startlingly new today, but in 1939 it broke some ground. Right at the beginning, when the pilot fears being caught carrying illegal aliens, the horrific act surely shocked audiences.

I've been wanting for years to see the Bancroft series or at least a Bancroft movie, and finally, thanks to Turner Classic Movies, I have.

All in all, it's a good story with a million-dollar cast.


1 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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