3 user 1 critic

Undercover Agent (1939)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 19 April 1939 (USA)
A railway postal clerk goes after a sweepstakes counterfeiting ring.


Howard Bretherton


Milton Raison (screenplay), Martin Mooney (original story)


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Cast overview:
Russell Gleason ... Bill Trent
Shirley Deane ... Betty Madison
J.M. Kerrigan ... Tom 'Pop' Madison
Maude Eburne ... Mrs. Minnow
Oscar O'Shea ... Pat Murphy
Ralf Harolde ... Bartel (as Ralph Harolde)
Selmer Jackson ... John Graham
Ray Bennett ... Pussyfoot - Henchman
Ralph Sanford ... Joe Blake
Dick Elliott ... Garrison
Lee Phelps Lee Phelps ... Pete Higgens - Bartender
Walter Wills Walter Wills ... Cigar Store Proprietor
Max Hoffman Jr. Max Hoffman Jr. ... Slicker - Henchman


When Bill Trent (Russell Gleason),a United States Mail Inspector for the railways, uses his gun to foil a robber, he gets a probation sentence from the service. So, the next time he encounters a gang of crooks---forgers of sweepstakes tickets---he brings them to justice and jail without the aid of a gun. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in New York City Wednesday 22 June 1949 on WPIX (Channel 11), and in Los Angeles Sunday 31 July 1949 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

User Reviews

It's okay, but I only saw an extremely truncated version.
29 September 2010 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

IMDb shows this film as having a running time of 65 minutes, yet the link to watch or download the film is for a copy only 47 minutes in length. Considering B-movies generally ran from 58-70 minutes, I assume that the version I saw is not the original. It was truncated to fit on television--I know this because the original titles are gone and one for Motion Pictures For Television, Inc. has inserted a new one. Distributing companies like this often bought up cheap films and hacked them to pieces and then sold them to television. Because of this, my review must be taken with this in mind--perhaps the longer version is a bit better.

This film is a low-budget story about crooks who cheat unsuspecting gamblers by selling them fake lottery tickets. The problem comes to the attention of a young go-getter--a postal inspector who had been inexplicably suspended from his job. Now, if he digs deeper and uncovers this racket, perhaps he can get reinstated. One serious problem standing in his way is his girlfriend's drunk father--as he IS an annoying idiot and might just jeopardize the young man's investigation.

Overall, the story isn't bad, but the character of the old man is too colorful--too much of a caricature to be realistic. Plus, I was just kind of hoping one of the crooks would kill him--after all, they sure wanted to! The acting, writing and direction were all adequate and what you might expect from an average to slightly below average B-movie and nothing more.

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Release Date:

19 April 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweepstake Racketeers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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