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Murder in the Air (1940)

Approved | | Action, Thriller, Drama | 1 June 1940 (USA)
The corpse of a hobo with a $50,000 money belt helps Brass and Gabby crack a cell of fifth columnists bent on sabotage.

Director:

Lewis Seiler

Writer:

Raymond L. Schrock (original screen play) (as Raymond Schrock)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Ronald Reagan ... Brass Bancroft
John Litel ... Saxby
Lya Lys ... Hilda Riker
James Stephenson ... Joe Garvey
Eddie Foy Jr. ... Gabby Watters
Robert Warwick ... Doctor Finchley
Victor Zimmerman Victor Zimmerman ... Rumford
William Gould ... Admiral Winfield
Kenneth Harlan ... Commander Wayne
Frank Wilcox ... Hotel Clerk
Owen King Owen King ... George Hayden
Dick Rich Dick Rich ... John Kramer
Charles Brokaw ... Otto
Helen Lynd ... Dolly
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Storyline

Enemy agents are everywhere and they are sabotaging all important war deliveries. The body of a hobo found in a train wreck had a money belt with $50,000 and a tattoo of a circle and arrow. This is a tattoo for saboteurs for hire and Brass must impersonate the dead man to find out what his orders are. As Steve Coe, he meets with the band of enemy agents in California and everything goes well until the wife of the dead 'Hobo' shows up. Luckily, Gabby is able to save Brass and Brass learns what is his assignment. He is to board the USN airship 'Mason', which is testing the super secret Inertia Projector, and destroy the airship. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Thriller | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 June 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desenmascarados See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Much stock footage used including shots of Union Air Terminal (Burbank Airport), USN airship operations, and footage taken from Ceiling Zero (1936) and Secret Service of the Air (1939). See more »

Goofs

The police hand over the dead hobo's $50,000 and other evidence without requiring a receipt, a clear violation of police procedure involving the chain of custody. See more »

Quotes

Brass Bancroft: Hey, Gabby, come on. What's the matter?
Gabby Watters: Oh, I'm worried about my girl.
Brass Bancroft: Al right, so if you can't keep the date tonight, she'll cry on her mother's shoulder.
Gabby Watters: That's just what I'm worried about. She hasn't got a mother.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Reagans (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fourth in the "Brass Bancroft" series is the best...
5 March 2009 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

The fourth in the "Brass Bancroft" series is the best. Once again, RONALD REAGAN plays the confident government man whose job it is to expose spies led by JAMES STEPHENSON, the accented villain. It has the flavor of an extended Saturday afternoon serial, the kind that movie fans came to expect as a steady diet during the '30s and '40s.

All the ingredients for such an adventurous tale are here--a mysterious man with a tattoo on his arm; a ring of spies; good guys putting themselves into dangerous positions by posing as gangsters; and the inevitable conclusion with the spies efficiently disposed of by U.S. agents on their trail.

And once again, one gets the impression that Ronald Reagan was indeed being groomed for stardom as an Errol Flynn type of action star in his early days. He once described himself as the "Errol Flynn of the B-films" and it's an apt description.

Simplistic spy story made a year before Pearl Harbor, has its best moments when it uses actual footage from a dirigible disaster at sea with the footage blended evenly with studio scenes aboard the dirigible before it crashes. It's the last twenty minutes or so that makes the whole thing worth watching.

Fortunately for Reagan, it wasn't long after this one that the studio began putting him in A-films where he eventually earned his leading man status and became a dependable fixture throughout the forties.


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