Undercover Agent (1939)

56 mins | Drama | 5 April 1939

Full page view
HISTORY

Although onscreen credits attribute the original story to Martin Mooney, memos from E. B. Derr's office contained in the production file on the film at the AMPAS Library credit Mooney with original screenplay. The Var review credits Russell Schoengarth with film editing, although screen credits only list Howard Dillinger. Actors Shirley Deane and Russell Gleason also co-starred as romantic juvenile leads in the Jones Family series. Modern sources add Dave O'Brien to the ... More Less

Although onscreen credits attribute the original story to Martin Mooney, memos from E. B. Derr's office contained in the production file on the film at the AMPAS Library credit Mooney with original screenplay. The Var review credits Russell Schoengarth with film editing, although screen credits only list Howard Dillinger. Actors Shirley Deane and Russell Gleason also co-starred as romantic juvenile leads in the Jones Family series. Modern sources add Dave O'Brien to the cast. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
25 Feb 39
pp. 6-7.
Motion Picture Herald
8 Apr 39
p. 50.
Variety
19 Apr 39
p. 23.
DETAILS
Release Date:
5 April 1939
Production Date:
began late February 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 March 1939
Copyright Number:
LP8742
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
56
Length(in reels):
6
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5174
SYNOPSIS

Postman William Trent races from the mail train to join his fiancée, Betty Madison and her father Thomas, an unemployed actor, before Betty goes to work as a hat check girl in Bartel's betting parlor. Bartel's business has been bad lately, in part due to the popularity of the sweepstakes. Consequently, he decides to set up a phony sweepstakes and sends his man Slicker to France to mail back receipts for the Monte Carlo Sweepstakes to make the scam look legitimate. When ticket sales take off, Thomas becomes a ticket agent to pay his bar tab. Meanwhile, Trent passes the postal inspector's test and takes Betty to Patrick Murphy's pawnshop to buy an engagement ring. While they are there, the shop is robbed and Trent uses his service revolver to apprehend the robber. Although Trent is hailed as a hero, he has violated postal regulations by carrying his revolver while off duty, and consequently, is suspended for ninety days by his supervisor, Mr. Graham. When Trent hears about the new sweepstakes, he becomes suspicious and offers Graham his services as an agent. Although Graham is unable to commission Trent as an agent, he asks to be kept informed. Trent follows Bartell's runner, Pussyfoot, to the betting parlor, where he creates a scene to gain entrance to Bartell's office. Once inside, Trent sees the records and reports back to Graham who sets up a raid for the next day. When Thomas tells his future son-in-law about his new income, Trent tells him about the raid to prevent him from selling more tickets. Drunk, Thomas goes to the bartender and demands his money back, ... +


Postman William Trent races from the mail train to join his fiancée, Betty Madison and her father Thomas, an unemployed actor, before Betty goes to work as a hat check girl in Bartel's betting parlor. Bartel's business has been bad lately, in part due to the popularity of the sweepstakes. Consequently, he decides to set up a phony sweepstakes and sends his man Slicker to France to mail back receipts for the Monte Carlo Sweepstakes to make the scam look legitimate. When ticket sales take off, Thomas becomes a ticket agent to pay his bar tab. Meanwhile, Trent passes the postal inspector's test and takes Betty to Patrick Murphy's pawnshop to buy an engagement ring. While they are there, the shop is robbed and Trent uses his service revolver to apprehend the robber. Although Trent is hailed as a hero, he has violated postal regulations by carrying his revolver while off duty, and consequently, is suspended for ninety days by his supervisor, Mr. Graham. When Trent hears about the new sweepstakes, he becomes suspicious and offers Graham his services as an agent. Although Graham is unable to commission Trent as an agent, he asks to be kept informed. Trent follows Bartell's runner, Pussyfoot, to the betting parlor, where he creates a scene to gain entrance to Bartell's office. Once inside, Trent sees the records and reports back to Graham who sets up a raid for the next day. When Thomas tells his future son-in-law about his new income, Trent tells him about the raid to prevent him from selling more tickets. Drunk, Thomas goes to the bartender and demands his money back, and Bartel's men take him back to headquarters where they prepare to flee. As Betty calls Graham, Trent and Thomas turn the tables on the gang and hold them until Graham arrives with his agents to take them into custody. Trent is then reinstated and immediately promoted to postal inspector so that he and Betty can get married. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.