The Dawn Express (1942)

Passed  |   |  Action, Drama, Mystery  |  27 March 1942 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.6/10 from 87 users  
Reviews: 5 user

A Nazi spy ring is after a chemical formula that increases the power of ordinary gasoline for U.S. Army aviation use. Two U.S. chemical companies are developing the formula, with each ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Michael Whalen ...
Anne Nagel ...
Nancy Fielding
Tom Fielding
Constance Worth ...
Linda Pavlo
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ...
Capt. Gemmler (as Hans von Twardowski)
Chief Agent James Curtis
George Pembroke ...
Prof. Karl Schmidt
Kenneth Harlan ...
Agent Brown
Robert Frazer ...
John Oliver
Hans von Morhart ...
Heinrich - Kidnapper
Michael Vallon ...
Argus - Blind Spy
Willy Castello ...
Otto - Tavern Spy


A Nazi spy ring is after a chemical formula that increases the power of ordinary gasoline for U.S. Army aviation use. Two U.S. chemical companies are developing the formula, with each working on half for security purposes. The spies get half the formula and know that either of two chemists, Robert Norton (Michael Wilding or Tom Fielding (William Bakewell), knows the rest. They capture Fielding, through a ruse by gang member Linda Pavlo (Constance Worth, and threaten the life of his sister Nancy (Anne Nagel) and his mother if he does not give them the formula. To protect his friend Fielding, who does know the formula and is engaged to Nancy, Tom pretends to know the secret and boards the Dawn Express plane with the spy leader and his gang. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spy | nazi spy | nazi | chemist | gasoline | See All (51) »


DEATH RIDES THE AIRWAYS! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Action | Drama | Mystery


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 March 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dawn Express  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Some more zip in the gas tank
9 October 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

It's a PRC film so start with low expectations, but The Dawn Express will not even meet those. This is a horribly dated early World War II era flag waver when we were told to be on the alert for Nazi spies everywhere.

Michael Whalen and William Bakewell are a pair of scientists working in a chemical laboratory on a formula to get a little more mileage out of the gasoline in your tank's tank. Something no doubt that General Patton will find invaluable, not to mention what it will do for the post war civilian drivers. The Nazis want it too and they're even sending one of their top scientists, flying him secretly to America to test it for himself.

It's Bakewell they get to first putting an alluring Constance Worth in his path. Bakewell does fancy himself a player. Then it's up to Whalen to keep the formula out of Nazi hands and rescue Bakewell if he can do both. In fact he's engaged to Bakewell's sister Anne Nagel.

There are about a dozen holes in this story and it looks like it was shot with an old Bell&Howell home movie camera. I just hope our post war drivers got the benefit of this research.

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