Code of the Secret Service (1939)

Passed   |    |  Action, Adventure, Crime


Code of the Secret Service (1939) Poster

Brass is assigned to uncovering a counterfeiting ring that has stolen bona fide treasury plates and is converting $1 bills to $100 bills through a Mexican casino.


4.9/10
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3 June 2009 | morrisonhimself
8
| Apparently producer's re-edit saved it
In his first autobiography, "Where's the Rest of Me," Ronald Reagan told of one movie, which he carefully avoided naming, that he feared would destroy his career -- and that of everyone else connected.

He begged Warner Brothers not to release it, but the studio promised only not to allow distribution around Los Angeles.

Surprisingly, even that promise was broken. (Who'd a-thunk a studio would break a promise?) Reagan told of walking by a theater where it was playing and having the ticket seller say, "You should be ashamed."

It was this movie.

Actually, it's not only not that bad, it's pretty darn good.

"Code of the Secret Service" moves! As someone said of another entry in the series, it almost looks like a serial re-edited into a feature.

There is one scene, though, Reagan mentioned in "Rest" at which I laughed out loud because I remembered his describing it all those years ago. I will say only that, when you watch "Code," pay close attention to the Spanish-English dictionary Brass gets from Gabby.

The director and script supervisor, though, did a smooth job on another scene, where Gabby wins a bet from one of the Mexican soldiers.

Another point to watch for: According to the opening titles, the first two "Brass Bancroft" films were based on writings by W.H. Moran, a former chief of the Secret Service.

Also be on the lookout for some outstanding character actors, including the wonderful Chris-Pin Martin and Martin Garralaga.

And Moroni Olsen gets one of his biggest parts. He was a fine actor in more than a hundred roles, and was working right up to his final year.

Finally, there is some really nice Mexican-sounding music that accentuates the locale of the action.

It's a good movie.

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