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Sky Racket (1937)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Romance | 1 October 1937 (USA)
A government agent sets out to capture a gang of airmail bandits who use a death ray to blow planes out of the sky.



(screenplay), (story)

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Complete credited cast:
Eric Lane - Agent 17 (as Herman Brix)
Marion Bronson
Benjamin Arnold
Jenny (as Hattie McDaniels)
Henry Roquemore ...
Roger Bronson
Count Barksi (as Duncan Rinaldo)
Henchman Meggs
Henchman Nick Reagan
FBI Chief Maddox
Henchman Spike Hodgins
Frank Wayne ...
Henchman Pete
FBI Agent Wilks


Virtually an exact remake of Tim McCoy's 1936 western, "Ghost Patrol", with the difference being that instead of searching for her father held prisoner by the gang, this time the heroine is running from an unwanted suitor. This is not the last time this plot was recycled as a feature or a western. This time the mail planes have cracked up at a spot about twelves miles east of Hardcastle, and the pilots have disappeared along with the mail sacks. G-Man Eric Lane (Bruce Bennett) is assigned to the case. He plans to fly to the scene and bail out, but shortly before he reaches the jump spot he discovers stowaway Marion Bronson (Joan Barclay), who is trying to escape her intended bridegroom Count Barski (Duncan Renaldo) The motor dies and Lane grabs her, and his parachute carries them safely to the ground. They are captured by a gang and taken to the hideout. Lane stalls them by telling them he has kidnapped Marion for the reward money offered by her uncle, Roger Bronson (Henry Roquemore).... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

1 October 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Death Ray  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film is one of over 200 titles in the list of independent feature films made available for television presentation by Advance Television Pictures announced in Motion Picture Herald 4 April 1942. At this time, television broadcasting was in its infancy, almost totally curtailed by the advent of World War II, and would not continue to develop until 1945-1946. Because of poor documentation (feature films were often not identified by title in conventional sources) no record has yet been found of its initial television broadcast. It's earliest documented telecast occurred Monday 29 November 1943 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1); in Los Angeles it first hit the air waves Thursday 20 January 1949 on KFI (Channel 9). See more »


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Written by Charles Williams
Performed by Charles Williams
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User Reviews

Not as bad as the plot might suggest!
21 January 2014 | by See all my reviews

"Sky Racket" stars Herman Brix--an Olympic athlete who wisely changed his name to Bruce Bennett after starring in a few films. While neither are household names today, Bennett had a very long career and appeared in a ton of films and TV shows. Here he stars in a silly B-movie with a plot only 1930s Bs could use. Imagine--some crooks are using a death ray to knock airplanes out of the sky and Brix is sent to investigate. Believe it or not, it's the third movie with such a plot device that I've seen--and I am sure there were a few more, as death rays and airplanes were fair game in the wacky 1930s! And, incidentally, Brix starred in another film with a death ray in 1938!! With such a plot, you know you are not watching Shakespeare or a Merchant-Ivory production. However, I really think that this sort of escapism is nice for a change of pace and I love a kitschy B-movie now and again.

So the bottom line is, is it any good or worth your time? Well, for the average viewer, it's probably not worth seeing and will be a hard sell. But, for people who love old films, it is not bad at all. In fact, like dbburroughs said in their clever review, it IS '...One of the better death ray knocks planes out of the sky films'. I sure wish I'd said that first!! Decent, silly and entertaining. Plus, it does offer something unusual--a screwball woman who actually is pretty smart and does NOT keep getting in the way!

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