6.8/10
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6 user 1 critic

Holt of the Secret Service (1941)

A murderous gang of counterfeiters has kidnapped the government's best engraver and is forcing him to print virtually undetectable phony money. The Secret Service sends its toughest agent, Jack Holt, and a female partner after the gang.

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(original screenplay), (screenplay) (as George Plympton) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jack Holt / Nick Farrell
...
Kay Drew, R49
C. Montague Shaw ...
Chief John W. Malloy (as Montague Shaw)
...
Ed Valdin [Chs. 1-10]
John Ward ...
'Lucky' Arnold
Ted Adams ...
Quist
Joe McGuinn ...
'Crimp' Evans
Edward Hearn ...
Agent Jim Layton
Ray Parsons ...
John Severn, engraver [Chs. 1-4]
Jack Cheatham ...
Agent Frank [Chs. 3-5, 8-9, 15]
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Storyline

A murderous gang of counterfeiters has kidnapped the government's best engraver and is forcing him to print virtually undetectable phony money. The Secret Service sends its toughest agent, Jack Holt, and a female partner after the gang.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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His First Serial Blasts A New Trail Of Thrills! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Action | Drama

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Release Date:

21 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Daimonios detective  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Trivia

15 Chapters: 1) Chaotic Creek, 2) Ramparts of Revenge, 3) Illicit Wealth, 4) Menaced By Fate, 5) Exits to Terror, 6) Deadly Doom, 7) Out of the Past, 8) Escape to Peril, 9. Sealed in Silence, 10. Named to Die, 11. Ominous Warnings, 12. The Stolen Signal, 13. Prisoner of Jeopardy, 14. Afire Afloat, 15. Yielded Hostage See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fearless Fosdick's Last Hurrah!
26 June 2005 | by (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Holt of the Secret Service" should have been better than it was. It stars veteran action star Jack Holt in the lead role. Holt had been around in films since 1914, playing action heroes throughout the silent era. In the 1930s he became a highly respected character actor. It is therefore curious as to why he undertook the role of a dashing serial hero so late in his career. Maybe he wanted to return to his glory years.

By 1941 Holt was well past his prime and simply is not convincing as the hero. Some of the situations in the serial are laughable. Holt (or at least the stunt men) takes on 3, 4 and 5 henchmen at one time in just about every one of the 15 chapters.

The story centers around a set of counterfeit printers plates that keep changing hands between the good guys and the bad. Holt impersonates criminal Nick Farrel and is joined by Kay Drew (Evelyn Brent) who poses as his wife in an effort to infiltrate the gang.

The story moves from prison where Holt befriends Crimp Evans (Joe McGunn) a member of the gang. Holt and Kay wind up at a canyon hideout where they meet Valden (Tristram Coffin) one of the gang's top henchmen. Holt tries to learn the identity of the leader of the gang through Valden.

Next the trail leads to a gambling ship where we learn that gang's leader Arnold (John Ward) runs his operation. Arnold's no. 2 man Quist (Ted Adams) poses as the boss to mislead Holt and Kay. After a few chapters where the plates change hands back and forth the ship drops anchor off an isolated island where yet another gang led by Garrity (Stanley Blystone) with his henchmen Rankin (George Chesebro) and Dent (Stanley Price) run the show.

Competition between Garrity and Arnold results with each trying to control the other and gain possession of the elusive plates. Needless to say Fearless Fosdick ...er Jack Holt saves the day in Chapter 15.

It has been said that the square jawed comic strip detective Dick Tracy was based on Holt by cartoonist Chester Gould. Al Capp who drew the popular strip L'il Abner had a sub strip called Fearless Fosdick that was a takeoff on Dick Tracy and who looked an awful lot like Jacj Holt, complete with mustache's.

This serial was weak in the casting of the criminal masterminds. John Ward as Arnold and Stanley Blystone as Garrity are awful. Surely, Columbia could have gotten better actors such as J.Carrol Naish or Henry Brandon, both whom were working in the genre at the time. Veterans Chesebro and Price spice up the story, but they don't appear until Chapter 11.

And yes there's Holt's suit. It gets scuffed up and/or soaked in every chapter but never gets torn or cleaned. Evelyn Brent wears the same checkered suit throughout most of the serial as well. Eeeeeuuuuu!

I don't think that this picture is one for which Jack Holt would want to be remembered.


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