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I Cover the War! (1937)

Passed | | Action, Drama, Romance | 4 July 1937 (USA)
Newsreel cameraman Bob Adams heads to North Africa to cover an Arab uprising against the British. When he refuses to help his younger brother become a cameraman, Don becomes the dupe of less savory types posing in the trade.


Arthur Lubin


George Waggner (screenplay), Bernard McConville (original story idea)




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Bob Adams
Gwen Gaze ... Pamela Armitage
Don Barclay ... Elmer Davis
Charles Brokaw ... El Kadar / Muffadhi
James Bush ... Don Adams
Pat Somerset ... Captain Archie Culvert
Richard Tucker ... Army Officer
Sam Harris Sam Harris ... Colonel Hugh Armitage (as Major Sam Harris)
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Sir Herbert
Arthur Aylesworth ... Logan
Frank Lackteen ... Mustapha
Franklin Parker Franklin Parker ... Parker (as Franklyn Parker)
Keith Hitchcock Keith Hitchcock ... Sergeant Major (as Keith Kennedy)
Abdulla Abdulla ... Abdul
John Mack John Mack ... Graham (as Jack Mack)


Bob Adams, ace newsreel cameraman, is told by his boss, "Get the picture---we can't screen alibis." He heads for Samari, a desert hot-bed of tribal unrest in Africa, to do just that, which includes getting footage of El Kadar, bandit and rebel leader. He gets his pictures but only after a romance with the Colonel's daughter Pamela, saving his wimpy, hacked-off brother Don from being a dupe of the gun-runners, and run-ins with spies and throat-cutting tribesman. For a finale, he saves the British Army. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Shooting war...dodging bullets and stumbling smack into desert love! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Lyric Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - March 3, 1938) See more »


Action | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Actor Don Barclay's name is misspelled in the cast credits as "Don Barkley". See more »


Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

User Reviews

A decent B movie but nothing more.
29 January 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Most of John Wayne's roles before he became a big star were mostly as B-movie cowboys. However, he made a few Bs for Universal in the late 30s and early 40s and these roles were far less cowboy and far more adventure films. While none of these were great films, they were enjoyable. However, "I Cover the War!" is one I could never find until now...and it's available through YouTube.

In many ways this is similar to Clark Gable's "Somewhere I'll Find You" as the leading man plays a reporter who is in competition with his brother. In this case, John Wayne plays Bob Adams, a newsreel cinematographer and his brother, Don, is SUPPOSED to be off in college but he quit school to become a newsreel guy like his brother! Both end up in a fictional British colony in North Africa* and Bob does NOT welcome Don...he wants him to have a better and more responsible job. Ultimately, an evil man posing as a newsreel man uses Don for his own ends...and nearly is responsible for wiping out the local British outpost! Can Bob somehow figure all this out, save the day AND get the girl? It's Wayne...so what do you think?!

This is an enjoyable formulaic movie with modest B-movie pretenses. In other words, it's a short film with no stars (apart from Wayne) and represents the sort of productions Wayne was doing in his pre- megastar period. Worth seeing if you love Wayne, otherwise an easy one to skip.

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Release Date:

4 July 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Arabische machten See more »


Box Office


$70,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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