Special Agent (1935)

74-75 or 78 mins | Drama | 14 September 1935

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HISTORY

NYT identifies story writer Martin Mooney as a New York newspaperman. It mentions further that the Hays Office required portions of the sound track to be silenced to ensure that the film contained no offensive dialogue. Modern sources confirm this claim, adding that the Hays Office requested that a scene that producer Sam Bischoff felt was crucial be cut. The studio and the censors compromised, leaving the scene intact but excising the dialogue. The MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library does not include any correspondence relating to this subject. In the scene, Ricardo Cortez' lips move but the dialogue cannot be heard. Mooney's story was also the basis of the 1940 Warner Bros. film Gambling on the High Seas (see ... More Less

NYT identifies story writer Martin Mooney as a New York newspaperman. It mentions further that the Hays Office required portions of the sound track to be silenced to ensure that the film contained no offensive dialogue. Modern sources confirm this claim, adding that the Hays Office requested that a scene that producer Sam Bischoff felt was crucial be cut. The studio and the censors compromised, leaving the scene intact but excising the dialogue. The MPPA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library does not include any correspondence relating to this subject. In the scene, Ricardo Cortez' lips move but the dialogue cannot be heard. Mooney's story was also the basis of the 1940 Warner Bros. film Gambling on the High Seas (see above). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
26 Apr 35
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Jul 35
p. 5.
Film Daily
19 Sep 35
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 35
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
16 Aug 35
p. 2.
Motion Picture Herald
27 Jul 35
p. 57.
Motion Picture Herald
24 Aug 35
p. 55.
New York Times
19 Sep 35
p. 28.
Variety
25 Sep 35
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Cosmopolitan Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITERS
Story idea
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 September 1935
Production Date:
ended 12 July 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 September 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5800
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
74-75 or 78
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1073
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When local efforts to put gangsters in jail are ineffective, the Federal government has some success by charging criminals with evading taxes on their illegal earnings. Bill Bradford, a treasury agent posing as a newspaper reporter, is assigned to the case of gangster Alexander Carston. Bill is in love with Julie Gardner, Carston's bookkeeper. She informs him that Carston's books are kept in code and she is the only one who knows that code. After they witness the brutal murder of a man who crossed Carston, Bill begs Julie to quit her job, but she is afraid that Carston will never let her go because she knows so much. At Bill's suggestion, the district attorney pressures the murdered man's partner into testifying against Carston, but an informer reveals the plan to Carston and the witness is murdered. After a jury fails to convict Carston, Bill divulges his real identity to the district attorney, and they formulate a plan to photocopy Carston's books. For her own protection, they arrest Julie as a material witness. She decodes the books, but before she can testify, Carston has her kidnapped. Bill tricks Carston into taking him to the hideout where Julie is being held. The police follow, killing the gang and rescuing Bill and Julie. Julie's testimony sends Carston to Alcatraz, and she is free to marry ... +


When local efforts to put gangsters in jail are ineffective, the Federal government has some success by charging criminals with evading taxes on their illegal earnings. Bill Bradford, a treasury agent posing as a newspaper reporter, is assigned to the case of gangster Alexander Carston. Bill is in love with Julie Gardner, Carston's bookkeeper. She informs him that Carston's books are kept in code and she is the only one who knows that code. After they witness the brutal murder of a man who crossed Carston, Bill begs Julie to quit her job, but she is afraid that Carston will never let her go because she knows so much. At Bill's suggestion, the district attorney pressures the murdered man's partner into testifying against Carston, but an informer reveals the plan to Carston and the witness is murdered. After a jury fails to convict Carston, Bill divulges his real identity to the district attorney, and they formulate a plan to photocopy Carston's books. For her own protection, they arrest Julie as a material witness. She decodes the books, but before she can testify, Carston has her kidnapped. Bill tricks Carston into taking him to the hideout where Julie is being held. The police follow, killing the gang and rescuing Bill and Julie. Julie's testimony sends Carston to Alcatraz, and she is free to marry Bill. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.