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Tear Gas Squad (1940)

Approved | | Drama | 4 May 1940 (USA)
Nightclub singer becomes police cadet to impress blond female from police family, ends up with her current dating partner as his cadet trainer.


(as Terry Morse)




Complete credited cast:
Tommy McCabe
Bill Morrissey
Jerry Sullivan
Joe McCabe
Sgt. Crump
Pliny Jones
Julie Stevens ...
Harry Shannon ...
Lt. Sullivan
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. Sullivan
Capt. Henderson
Chief Ferris
Cousin Andy
Dick Rich ...
Cousin Pat
George (as DeWolf Hopper)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rocky Sullivan (archive footage)


Druggist Joe McCabe foils a robbery, and his brother Tommy decides to join the state police in order to impress Joe and Tommy's new date, Jerry, a policeman's daughter. When the robbers exact revenge on Joe, Tommy hunts them down. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

4 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

State Cop  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Despite the title, tear gas is not mentioned until five minutes before the end of this film, it is not used until two minutes before the end, and there is no actual tear gas squad. Tear gas is just a weapon coincidentally used by regular police offers. See more »


McCabe and Jones are shown in a two-shot seated on their adjacent motorcycles, but on the cut to a wide shot showing the entire motorcycle squad, Jones is not one of the riders. See more »


Edited from Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) See more »


Put That Down in Writing
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the Monterey Tavern when George asks Lois to Dance
See more »

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User Reviews

Fast, Cheap and Fun
21 May 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Tear Gas Squad (1940)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Cheap but fun "B" picture from Warner has Dennis Morgan playing a lounge singer who does a routine as a cop, which crosses the line with a beautiful woman (Gloria Dickson) there watching. Soon she invites the singer to her house where he learns that there are all cops in her family and there's another man, also a cop (John Payne), who also has a thing for her. The singer decides to become a cop himself and this here is where the trouble starts. TEAR GAS SQUAD is pretty straight from start to finish and it follows just about every cliché that you'd expect it to but I still thought the film managed to be quite entertaining through its 55-minute running time. The best thing about the picture is that director Terry O. Morse manages to keep it running at an extremely fast pace and he never lets any of the action slow down. There are all sorts of strange things going on here including the non-stop singing from Morgan who is constantly throwing out a song. Even stranger is the entire love triangle as the woman pretty much disappears from the picture and we're just left with two guys who can't stand one another. Of course there has to be "drama" from the poor attitude of the singer, his fall from grace and then the redemption. I thought Morgan and Payne were both very entertaining in their roles. I'd stop short of saying they gave great performances since the material is pretty light but there's still no doubt that they help keep the film entertaining. Dickson was good as the love interest but she really didn't have too much to do. George Reeves has a couple quick but memorable scenes. If you're looking for top-notch entertainment or an Oscar-winner then you're not going to find it here but those who like "B" movies should find plenty of entertainment here.

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