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Patrolling the Ether (1944)

1940. Sixteen year old Phillip is one of a number of amateur radio operators across the US, doing it purely as a fun hobby. He is informed by Bill Beck of the Radio and Intelligence ... See full summary »


Paul Burnford


DeVallon Scott (original story) (as De Vallon Scott), Alan Friedman (original story) | 2 more credits »


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Uncredited cast:
Hazel Brooks ... Taxi Driver / German Spy (uncredited)
Marc Cramer ... German Spy in Taxi (uncredited)
Richard Crane ... Phillip (uncredited)
Donald Curtis ... Bill Beck (uncredited)
Connie Gilchrist ... Phillip's Mother (uncredited)
Selmer Jackson ... Chief of Radio Intelligence Division (uncredited)
Lee Phelps Lee Phelps ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Emmett Vogan Emmett Vogan ... Aide to Chief of Radio Intelligence Division (uncredited)


1940. Sixteen year old Phillip is one of a number of amateur radio operators across the US, doing it purely as a fun hobby. He is informed by Bill Beck of the Radio and Intelligence Division (RID) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that amateur international radio communication is now banned due to spying a result of the war in Europe. Beck, on behalf of the RID, asks Phillip, however, to continue to monitor the airwaves for suspicious activity. This request is similar to several others made to "Phillip"s across the country by the RID, this group of Phillips the invisible army of unofficial watchers in the name of national security. Their role becomes more important as the US enters the war. The important work of the RID is presented in one case, where they have to locate the source of an enemy radio transmission based on information received from several monitoring stations across the country. The field agents, like Beck, have to do the still dangerous ground work to ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Short | Drama







English | Portuguese

Release Date:

10 April 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Patrolling the Ether: A Crime Does Not Pay Subject See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was the first movie in the USA to premiere on television. See more »


Follows Give Till It Hurts (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Not one of the better entries in the series.
15 March 2012 | by radiomattmSee all my reviews

I catch this series whenever an episode comes on and I was rather disappointed in this one. From the early part of the film when the mother says, "Son this man from the FCC wants to talk to you" I knew it was going to be lame. As having been an amateur radio operator and a professional broadcaster, I can tell you that people from the FCC don't come by to talk sports with you. Such a visit would have been as welcome as "Hey Charlie, this motorcycle cop who has been following you for three miles wants to talk to you." It doesn't make sense.

And someone who was 16 in 1940 is a Federal agent in 1944? While I can't say for sure, my guess is that the kid would have had to have had an engineering degree to work for the FCC. The film was interesting, but with too many gaps in logic to make it really enjoyable.

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