8 user 5 critic

Code of the Secret Service (1939)

Brass is assigned to uncovering a counterfeiting ring that has stolen bona fide treasury plates and is converting $1 bills to $100 bills through a Mexican casino.


Noel M. Smith (as Noel Smith)


Lee Katz (original screen play), Dean Riesner (original screen play) (as Dean Franklin) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Ronald Reagan ... Lt. 'Brass' Bancroft
Rosella Towne ... Elaine
Eddie Foy Jr. ... Gabby Watters
Moroni Olsen ... Friar Parker
Edgar Edwards ... Ross
Jack Mower ... Decker
John Gallaudet ... Dan Crockett
Joe King ... Jim Saxby (as Joseph King)
Steve Darrell ... Butch (as Stevan Darrell)
Sol Gorss Sol Gorss ... Dutch
George Regas ... Mexican Police Officer


Dan Crackett, Secret Service Agent, is looking for a counterfeit money ring. He has tracked the stolen plates to somewhere in Mexico. In Washington, Saxby sends Brass Bancroft to El Paso to team up with Dan. They make plans to meet in a gambling saloon in Mexico called the 'Silver Slipper'. It is there that the gang kills Dan and pins the murder on Brass. Brass, with the help of Gabby and Elaine, must stay out of jail so that he can find where the press is working and who is behind the counterfeit bills. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Did You Know?


California Governor Ronald Reagan appeared on The Dick Cavett Show (1968) on December 17, 1971. Host Dick Cavett asked Governor Reagan "what would you say was your worst movie?" Their exchange is transcribed below: Reagan: That's very easy to answer. I could answer... Cavett: ...People are always asked their favorite. Reagan: And I heard you speculating a little while ago out here while I was off-stage, speculating about what it's like to watch your movies as the hours go on late into the night. Cavett: Yes. Reagan: But, uh, the worst movie I have never seen to this day. I made a picture...see when you started in this business back in the golden era they had a thing call the B unit at each studio. And I became the hero of the B's for a while at Warner Brothers, it was the "gipper" part that broke me out of that, and into (a) different kind of picture. But, uh, I made some that they didn't ...I was l like an Errol Flynn in a low budget sort of way. This picture was called "Code of the Secret Service." Cavett: That sounds terrific. Reagan: Some people, some friends of mine, have tried to trick me into a projection room a couple of times to see it. But, uh... Cavett: Well we have a little surprise for you... Reagan: Don't you dare! Cavett: We don't, but it would have been a nice trick, wouldn't it? Reagan: Part of the blame was on us. The director and myself, we got mad at the producer. And usually in those things they expected you to patch things up on the set. You'd look at the script and you'd say you can't do that and so you kind of cook it up and it would come out a little better than it had been written. And this one we got mad at the producer, and the director and I made up our minds we would shoot it exactly as it was written. Cavett: And that was the worst thing you could do. Reagan: Oh, I want to tell you, it reached a real low spot when the villain shoots me then walks away and leaves me for dead and I take a book which is a Spanish-American dictionary, I just happened do be in Mexico at the time, out of my pocket and I (mimes kissing book) say to the book if you ever need an endorsement call on me, then I put it in my hip pocket I suppose in case he shoots me when I'm... (laughter) Cavett: Book saved your life. See more »


The fight doubles for Reagan and his villain adversary are clearly doubles in the casino medium shots. See more »


The Friar: You see, Mr. Bancroft, the secret of true success is to overlook nothing.
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El jarabe tapatío (Mexican Hat Dance)
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Felipe A. Partichela
Played on the accordion
See more »

User Reviews

Apparently producer's re-edit saved it
3 June 2009 | by morrisonhimselfSee all my reviews

In his first autobiography, "Where's the Rest of Me," Ronald Reagan told of one movie, which he carefully avoided naming, that he feared would destroy his career -- and that of everyone else connected.

He begged Warner Brothers not to release it, but the studio promised only not to allow distribution around Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, even that promise was broken. (Who'd a-thunk a studio would break a promise?) Reagan told of walking by a theater where it was playing and having the ticket seller say, "You should be ashamed."

It was this movie.

Actually, it's not only not that bad, it's pretty darn good.

"Code of the Secret Service" moves! As someone said of another entry in the series, it almost looks like a serial re-edited into a feature.

There is one scene, though, Reagan mentioned in "Rest" at which I laughed out loud because I remembered his describing it all those years ago. I will say only that, when you watch "Code," pay close attention to the Spanish-English dictionary Brass gets from Gabby.

The director and script supervisor, though, did a smooth job on another scene, where Gabby wins a bet from one of the Mexican soldiers.

Another point to watch for: According to the opening titles, the first two "Brass Bancroft" films were based on writings by W.H. Moran, a former chief of the Secret Service.

Also be on the lookout for some outstanding character actors, including the wonderful Chris-Pin Martin and Martin Garralaga.

And Moroni Olsen gets one of his biggest parts. He was a fine actor in more than a hundred roles, and was working right up to his final year.

Finally, there is some really nice Mexican-sounding music that accentuates the locale of the action.

It's a good movie.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 May 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Código do Serviço Secreto See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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