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Secret Agent (1943)

Approved | | Animation, Short | 30 July 1943 (USA)
Superman battles saboteurs determined to stop a lady double agent from getting important documents to Washington D.C.

Director:

Seymour Kneitel

Writers:

Jerry Siegel (comic strip created by: Superman) (as Jerome Siegel), Joe Shuster (comic strip created by: Superman) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Uncredited cast:
Joan Alexander ... Secret Agent (voice) (uncredited)
Jackson Beck Jackson Beck ... Narrator / Police Chief / Nazi Saboteurs (voice) (uncredited)
Bud Collyer ... Clark Kent / Superman / Nazi Saboteurs (voice) (uncredited)
Jack Mercer ... Nazi Saboteurs (voice) (uncredited)
Julian Noa Julian Noa ... Perry White / Police Officer / Nazi Saboteurs (voice) (uncredited)
Sam Parker Sam Parker ... (voice) (uncredited)
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Storyline

Clark Kent helps a pretty blonde Federal agent escape a gang of Nazi saboteurs, and lets himself be captured to learn their plans. The blonde, pursued again, falls into the gears of a drawbridge... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Short

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

30 July 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Under the River See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Famous Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Superman has only one line of dialogue in the entire short. That line, which he speaks while disguised as Clark Kent, is "But, Chief...." See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Perry White: Now look here, Kent, you can't pick your assignments. Hurry over and cover that consumers' meeting.
Clark Kent: But, Chief...
Perry White: But nothing! That's final.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Mechanical Monsters (1941) See more »

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User Reviews

A superb cartoon crime thriller with amazing animation
19 December 2003 | by BrianDanaCampSee all my reviews

"Secret Agent" was the 17th and final Superman cartoon produced by Paramount Pictures. Made in 1943, it came at the end of a run that started with nine cartoons produced by the Fleischer brothers who left Paramount in 1942. In contrast with the other Superman cartoons, this one is essentially a straight-ahead action-crime thriller with less of an emphasis on Superman and more on a group of spies and saboteurs trying to stop a gorgeous blonde (an undercover Fed) from getting her list of names to Washington DC. There are high-speed car chases, shootouts with the police, and a climax on a moving bridge platform. Other than a relatively brief display of Superman's powers, there are no science fiction elements. It all takes place at night in richly detailed urban settings. It's an astounding, breathtaking work and indicates a possible direction American animation could have taken had it followed the lead of American comic books the way the Superman cartoons did.

What if the filmmakers here had used this same style of animation to do a series of Batman cartoons in the 1940s, film noir style? What if an entire animated theatrical feature had been done in this style? Think of the possibilities. Perhaps American animation wouldn't have been stuck for decades in the Disney/Hanna-Barbera mold which ultimately dominated American animation. As it is, it took Japanese animators some 40 years after "Secret Agent" to show us how crime thrillers could be presented vividly in animation with THE PROFESSIONAL: GOLGO 13 and CRYING FREEMAN, although with considerably higher quotients of bloodshed and violence.


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