9 user 5 critic

Ghost Patrol (1936)

A professor invents a radium tube that makes internal combustion engines stop running. He and his invention are captured by a gang of robbers. A federal agent is sent to rescue him.


Sam Newfield


Wyndham Gittens (screenplay)

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Complete credited cast:
Tim McCoy ... Tim Caverly
Claudia Dell ... Natalie Brent
Walter Miller ... Dawson
Wheeler Oakman ... Kincaid
James P. Burtis James P. Burtis ... Henry Brownlee (as Jimmy Burtis)
Lloyd Ingraham ... Professor Brent
Dick Curtis ... Henchman Charlie


A Professor has an invention that will bring down planes causing them to crash and Dawson is forcing him to use it on those carrying money. When Tim arrives to investigate he is mistaken for a noted outlaw. So he assumes that identity to force Dawson to make him a partner. But just as a plane bringing Tim help is arriving, his true identity is revealed and while he is a prisoner, Dawson forces the Professor to start his machine. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

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Release Date:

3 August 1936 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Excelsior Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Cincinnati Sunday 4 December 1949 on WCPO (Channel 7) and in Los Angeles Wednesday 28 December 1949 on KTSL (Channel 2). See more »


Natalie walks along a winding desert track and sits on a rock. Tim approaches her along a wide straight road with telegraph poles. See more »


Edited into Six Gun Theater: Ghost Patrol (2015) See more »


My Heart Is Waiting
Music by Clifford Gates
Sam Fox Publ Co.
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User Reviews

The Soundtrack May Drive You Bonkers...
20 March 2006 | by joebridgeSee all my reviews

This is first and foremost a western. I wouldn't put any science-fiction label on it, even with the "special ray" (which actually looks more like part of an electric chair set-up and makes way too much noise for my tender ears) that causes the engines of planes to fail, which is the basis for the investigations, and which most of the plot revolves around. There are some amusing scenes, which aren't great, but good for a bit of entertainment.

In case you don't know what's going on when you are actually watching the movie, there will be plenty of shots and references to two newspaper clippings from start to finish! Try not to fall asleep when it cuts to the newspaper clippings each time. For slow readers, I guess. This never really works, as by the time I understand that I am supposed to actually read parts of the article, it is already too late to get more out of what I am seeing and the scene changes.

Tim (from the Department of Justice) taking over the character of the bad guy to fool the other bad guys isn't really very convincing and of course he has to have an annoying sidekick to generate what little amusement unfolds.

You've got to love that enormous white hat with matching scarf (Tim's outfit) which always seems to be in perfect placement regardless of what happens! Simply unbelievable! The "lesson on hitchhiking" is somewhat amusing at any rate, as are the scenes on the wagon about twenty minutes in.

I must comment on the extremely annoying amateurish soundtrack, especially the sound of when each plane's engine begins to fail, which sounds a lot more like someone playing with the button on a tape player as it is playing the sound of a plane engine in the distance! For quite awhile in the first scenes, I thought the movie itself (the sound) was actually very messed up, until I understood it was SUPPOSED to sound like that. You can even hear the clicks of the heads making contact with the recording (and other aspects of a recording not playing right) as you are watching it!

4/10. I would have given it 5/10 were it not for the highly annoying soundtrack. It was also saved by Tim's giant white hat and scarf, which gives the movie somewhat of a cartoon feel, along with Tim's penguin-like stance and manner and bizarre way of shooting (which looks more like he is playing darts). Enjoy it on a late night with cold pizza that was left over, or something.

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