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The Master Key (1945) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Jack Natteford (original story) and
Dwight V. Babcock (original story) ...
View company contact information for The Master Key on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 April 1945 (USA) See more »
Government agents battle a gang of Nazis who are trying to use the Orotron machine, which can turn seawater into gold. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
M-764 Reporting See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Milburn Stone ... Agent Tom Brant

Jan Wiley ... Janet Lowe

Dennis Moore ... Detective Lt. Jack Ryan

Addison Richards ... Gerhard Doenitz, alias Garret Donahue
Byron Foulger ... Prof. Elwood Henderson

Maris Wrixon ... Dorothy Newton
Sarah Padden ... Aggie

George Lynn ... Herman, Chief Thug
Russell Hicks ... Police Chief Michael J. O'Brien

Roland Varno ... Arnold Hoffman aka Hoff, M-3

Lash La Rue ... Migsy (Street Urchin) (as Alfred La Rue)
Jerry Shane ... Dan, Boys' Club Member
Neyle Morrow ... Spike, Boys' Club Member (as Neyle Marx)
John Eldredge ... Walter Stark, Council Member M-6 [Chs.1-5]
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ernie Adams ... Flash Faust (uncredited)

Richard Alexander ... Flamingo Club Bouncer (uncredited)
Robert Barron ... M-5 (uncredited)
Harris Berger ... Boys' Club Member (uncredited)
Charles Blake ... Charter Plane Steward (uncredited)
Walter Bonn ... Heifel (uncredited)
George M. Carleton ... Jakob Braun aka Jake Brown, M-7 (uncredited)

Horace B. Carpenter ... Man on Street (uncredited)
George Chesebro ... Fireman Dragging Hose (uncredited)

Jack Rube Clifford ... Riverton Tower Switchman (uncredited)

Edmund Cobb ... Riverton Railroad Official in Tower (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Apartment Thug (uncredited)
Dick Curtis ... Reicher (uncredited)
Sayre Dearing ... 2nd Nazi Lab Guard (uncredited)

Joe Devlin ... Bauer (uncredited)

Edward Earle ... Editor Phillips (uncredited)
Matty Fain ... Slag Ritter (uncredited)
Al Ferguson ... Truck Driver (uncredited)
William Frambes ... Pat (uncredited)
Dick French ... Schmidt (uncredited)
John Gannon ... Charter Pilot (uncredited)
Buddy Gorman ... Lug (uncredited)

William Haade ... Abandoned Warehouse Thug (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Guard in Hospital (uncredited)
Richard Hirbe ... Johnny (uncredited)
Margaret Hoffman ... Bay Street Landlady (uncredited)
Edward Howard ... Pete Clark (uncredited)
Kenneth Howell ... Boys' Club Member (uncredited)
Arthur Loft ... M-1's Voice-Man (uncredited)
Pierce Lyden ... Luther - Council Member M-9 (uncredited)
Carl Mathews ... Henchman (uncredited)
Charles McAvoy ... Policeman (uncredited)

John Merton ... Vogel - Council Member M-10 (uncredited)
George Offerman Jr. ... Boys' Club Extra (uncredited)
Jack Perrin ... Policeman (uncredited)
Jack Rockwell ... Safecracker (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Bat Logan (uncredited)
David Sharpe ... Policeman (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Fingerprint Clerk (uncredited)

Tom Steele ... Policeman / Henchman (uncredited)
Robert R. Stephenson ... Bosch (uncredited)

Ben Taggart ... Apartment Thug (uncredited)
Joe Tarrell ... Okey (uncredited)

Forrest Taylor ... Hospital Doctor (uncredited)
Brooke Temple ... Mr. Butler (uncredited)
Ken Terrell ... Henchman (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Policeman in Loft Building (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Abandoned Loft Thug (uncredited)
William Yetter Jr. ... Bill (uncredited)
Clifton Young ... Loft Building Henchman (uncredited)

Directed by
Lewis D. Collins 
Ray Taylor 
Writing credits
Jack Natteford (original story) and
Dwight V. Babcock (original story)

Joseph O'Donnell (screenplay) and
George H. Plympton (screenplay) and
Ande Lamb (screenplay)

Produced by
Morgan Cox .... producer (as Morgan B. Cox)
Cinematography by
Maury Gertsman (photography)
William A. Sickner (photography) (as William Sickner)
Film Editing by
Irving Birnbaum 
Jack Dolan 
Ace Herman 
Alvin Todd 
Edgar Zane 
Art Direction by
Harold H. MacArthur  (as Harold MacArthur)
Chuck Hamilton .... stunts (uncredited)
Carey Loftin .... stunts (uncredited)
Carl Mathews .... stunts (uncredited)
David Sharpe .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunt double (uncredited)
Ken Terrell .... stunts (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Norman A. Cerf .... supervising editor
Music Department
Paul Dessau .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Charles Previn .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Paul Sawtell .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Frank Skinner .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Dimitri Tiomkin .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
William Holland .... dialogue director
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
226 min (13 episodes)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Did You Know?

Film debut of Lash La Rue (billed as Alfred LaRue).See more »
Anachronisms: At the beginning of each chapter, we are told the story is taking place in 1938, but 1939, 1940 and 1941 model automobiles are frequently seen and even used by the principal players on various occasions.See more »
Title Card:This is just a story. Like many good stories, it never happened and never could happen... but let us imagine that it is 1938, somewhere in the United States.See more »
Movie Connections:
Edited from Gang Busters (1942)See more »


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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
M-764 Reporting, 5 September 2004
Author: Mike-764 ( from Flushing, NY

Elwood Henderson invents the Orotron, a large device which can extract various minerals and elements in their minute quantities from sea water. Nazi agents (the serial, released in 1945, is set in 1938) plan to use the Orotron in order to obtain enough gold to buy up key American industries for their own use and purpose. Henderson is also taken prisoner by the Nazis, since he has to manufacture the gas tubes in order to make the Orotron work, when the present ones wear out. Government agent Tom Brant, police detective Jack Ryan, and reporter Janet Lowe, team up to find Henderson and round up the agents responsible for his and the Orotron's disappearance, including the Master Key, the unknown head agent of the Nazis in the US. Very good script overcome some of the weak fights in the serial. Many of the cliffhangers are so-so, and at times just look like the writers put them in there from making the chapters run a reel extra. Stone, Moore, & Wiley are all believable as Brant, Ryan, and Lowe respectively. Addison is very villainous Donohue, second Nazi in command. LaRue is as good as he every would be as the leader of Lowe's teenage reporter friends, but Fougler has one of his better roles as Henderson. Great ending to the serial, one of the few that respects the intelligence of the viewer. Rating, based on serials, 8.

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