U.S. Foreign Service officer matches wits with a Chinese warlord to try to save American citizens threatened with execution.


(as Peter Stewart)


(original story), (screenplay)

On Disc

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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Lundigan ...
Jonathan Hale ...
Consul Reither
Richard Loo ...
Marshal Yun Usu
Philip Ahn ...
Col. Aram
Raymond Bond ...
Consul Brown
Milton Kibbee ...
Bill Sneed
Victor Sen Yung ...
Johnny Han
Lora Lee Michel ...
John Holland ...
Harlan Warde ...
Rev. Morse
Carole Donne ...
Mrs. Morse
Barbara Woodell ...
Mongolian Spy (as Robert Stephenson)


Kenneth Seeley, member of the U. S. State Department's Foreign Service Bureau, and Marge Weldon, a morale worker with the bureau, are assigned to an area in Mongolia dominated by an outlaw warlord. The latter captures the village where they reside and when escape is clearly impossible, Seeley blows up the outlaw's headquarters, losing his own life in doing so. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

11 February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

File 649: State Department  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Pretty dull and cheap but not exactly terrible.
14 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

"State Department" is a strange film because it's about politics in China but never mentions the communists--who assumed power the same year this film debuted! It's also a rather cheap and insignificant film.

The movie begins with a prologue about various workers in the foreign service who have given their lives for their country. One of these people is the subject of this film. Ken (William Lundigan) is the new vice-consul of a remote consulate in northern China. However, he just arrives at his new posting when a local warlord arrives and begins menacing everyone. This sort of stuff did happen in the 1920s and 30--and I assume that this is the time period in which the movie is based.

The film is decent but a bit dull. While it's not a bad film, it never rises to anything more than just barely average. Lundigan and the rest are pretty good--it's just that the story never seems too interesting.

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