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The Dawn Express (1942)

A Nazi spy ring is after a chemical formula that increases the power of ordinary gasoline for U.S. Army aviation use. Two U.S. chemical companies are developing the formula, with each ... See full summary »

Director:

Albert Herman

Writer:

Arthur St. Claire (original story and screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Michael Whalen ... Robert Norton
Anne Nagel ... Nancy Fielding
William Bakewell ... Tom Fielding
Constance Worth ... Linda Pavlo
Hans Heinrich von Twardowski ... Capt. Gemmler (as Hans von Twardowski)
Jack Mulhall ... Chief Agent James Curtis
George Pembroke George Pembroke ... Prof. Karl Schmidt
Kenneth Harlan ... Agent Brown
Robert Frazer ... John Oliver
Hans von Morhart Hans von Morhart ... Heinrich - Kidnapper
Michael Vallon ... Argus - Blind Spy
Willy Castello Willy Castello ... Otto - Tavern Spy
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Storyline

A Nazi spy ring is after a chemical formula that increases the power of ordinary gasoline for U.S. Army aviation use. Two U.S. chemical companies are developing the formula, with each working on half for security purposes. The spies get half the formula and know that either of two chemists, Robert Norton (Michael Wilding or Tom Fielding (William Bakewell), knows the rest. They capture Fielding, through a ruse by gang member Linda Pavlo (Constance Worth, and threaten the life of his sister Nancy (Anne Nagel) and his mother if he does not give them the formula. To protect his friend Fielding, who does know the formula and is engaged to Nancy, Tom pretends to know the secret and boards the Dawn Express plane with the spy leader and his gang. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

FLAMING DRAMA...as Federal Agents and 5th Columnists Battle Desperately in the Sky Trails (original print ad) See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 March 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dawn Express See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The earliest documented telecast of this film in the New York City area occurred Monday 21 January 1946 on pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1); in Philadelphia it was first telecast Saturday 13 November 1948 on WFIL (Channel 6), in Detroit Wednesday 30 March 1949 on WXYZ (Channel 7), in Albuquerque Saturday 16 April 1949 on KOB (Channel 4), in Cincinnati Friday 27 May 1949 on WKRC (Channel 11), and in Los Angeles Thursday 2 February 1950 on KTLA (Channel 5). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cheap and filled with plot holes.
6 March 2014 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When "The Dawn Express" began, I assumed that It would be a pretty bad film. After all, it was made by PRC and it had a cast filled with complete unknowns. And, it turned out I was pretty much right about this one. The film is a wartime propaganda movie—meant to capitalize on the war as well as engender support at home for the war effort. Because of this, it is unabashedly patriotic and obvious. Subtle it isn't. Quickly written and often illogical it is.

The film begins with a couple workers from a chemical plant being kidnapped by Nazi spies. Then, after pumping them for information about a top secret formula, the two are murdered and their bodies dumped. Not surprisingly, US agents took notice of this—and it's odd the Nazis didn't think of this. The next guy they pump for information is different. Instead of kidnapping him, they know he's a bit of a playboy—so they send a pretty Nazi agent his way. Soon, her superiors demand he give them the formula but he refuses. They threaten to kill his family and he asks for time. Now you'd think they'd kill him or torture him….but they let him go! And, oddly, this dodo doesn't tell anyone!! What's going to happen next and how will Professor Schmidt figure into all this nonsense, find out for yourself.

Despite having many more plot holes than I mentioned above, the film has a certain silly likability. I often find these super-low budget films great fun if you don't take them seriously and they are exciting…if also quite dumb. Exciting and dumb…yep, that pretty much sums "The Dawn Express"!


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