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They Made Her a Spy (1939)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 14 April 1939 (USA)
When her brother is killed by sabotage, Irene Eaton (Sally Eilers) joins the secret service and goes undercover to unroot the culprits.


Jack Hively


Michael Kanin (screen play), Jo Pagano (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Sally Eilers ... Irene Eaton
Allan Lane ... James Huntley
Fritz Leiber ... Dr. Krull
Frank M. Thomas ... Colonel John Shaw
Theodore von Eltz ... Colonel Page (as Theodor Von Eltz)
Addison Richards ... Everett Brock
Larry J. Blake ... Ben Dawson (as Larry Blake)
Pierre Watkin ... Colonel Wilson
Louis Jean Heydt ... Gillian
Spencer Charters ... Lucius
Leona Roberts ... Ella
Charles Halton ... Beldon
Alec Craig ... Canby


When her brother is killed in the mysterious explosion of a new field-gun for the U. S. Army, Irene Eaton goes to Washington D. C. to call upon Colonel Shaw, head of the Army Military Intellegence. The gun explosion was just one of many acts of sabotage recently pulled off by a foreign sabotage gang. Shw and his aides are the subject of increasing criticism from Congressmen and politicians such as Everett Brock because they haven't captured the gang members and leaders. Shaw appoints Irene to root them out and sends her off to the Dome Cafe which is the headquarters of the gang. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


UNCLE SAM STRIKES! ROMANCE! THRILLS! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fizeram-me uma Espiã See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Allan Lane--aka "Rocky Lane"--became a star of many low-budget westerns, mainly for Republic Pictures, but is probably best remembered as the voice of "Mr. Ed" in the successful TV series Mister Ed (1958). See more »


George Wolf, alias James Huntley: You *can* put us up for the night, can't you?
Irene Eaton, aka Margaret Brennan: We're very tired; we've been traveling all day.
Lucius 'Paul' Wilkins: Well, uh...
[Mrs. Wilkins whispers something in his ear]
Lucius 'Paul' Wilkins: Well, we've only got one room, and that we've been renting mainly to... *married* couples.
George Wolf, alias James Huntley: [He looks doubtful, then suddenly puts his arm around Irene] We're married, aren't we, dear?
Irene Eaton, aka Margaret Brennan: [big fake smile] Oh, of course! You see, well, it's been so long that I thought *everybody* knew...
[under her breath]
Irene Eaton, aka Margaret Brennan: or something.
Mrs. Ella Wilkins: I don't believe it!
See more »

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User Reviews

Guess the magic of 1939 was lost on this crowd
24 October 2014 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"They Made Her a Spy" is from that landmark year 1939 -- the year of so many great films. This isn't one of them. It's a B movie from RKO.

Sally Eilers stars as a young woman whose brother is a victim of sabotage, which has been rampant. She volunteers to do undercover work to find out who is feeding plans and secrets to the enemy. Now, I saw "Carve My Name With Pride," a real-life story, and I know what the government puts you through in order for someone to become a spy. With this woman, she becomes a spy immediately without so much as a background check.

Pretending to be involved with the other side, she is directed to one of the leaders, a Herr Krull, starts delivering results, and earns his trust. That takes up about ten minutes of screen time. But some people are still suspicious.

Fritz Lieber plays Dr. Krull. I'm assuming this is the noted Shakespearian stage actor Fritz Lieber Sr., father of the science fiction writer Fritz Lieber Jr.

There isn't much of a plot here; it seems like Irene no sooner becomes a spy that things come to a boil, the movie is that short. It's not very impressive. Some familiar faces among the supporting players -- Charles Halton, Addison Richards, a few others.

Probably pounded out in five days.

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