The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939)

65,67 or 69 mins | Drama | 27 January 1939

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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were The Lone Wolf's Daughter and The Lone Wolf. Modern sources indicate that although the script for Columbia's 1929 film The Lone Wolf's Daughter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3165) was used as the basis for this film, the story was changed completely following John Latimer's assignment to the screenplay. Louis Joseph Vance's "The Lone Wolf" stories and novels provided the basis for at least twenty-four films made between 1917 and 1949. Following the 1938 release of its The Lone Wolf in Paris, Columbia committed itself to making a series of "The Lone Wolf" films with Warren William starring as the gentleman sleuth, and initiated the series with this film. Following the release of The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, William starred in eight "The Lone Wolf" pictures, until 1946, when Gerald Mohr took over the role in The Notorious Lone Wolf. The first film based on the "The Lone Wolf" novels was the 1917 Herbert Brenon production The Lone Wolf, which featured Bert Lytell as detective "Michael Lanyard" (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.2583). Other films based on the "The Lone Wolf" novels, which were not part of Columbia's series starring Warren William, include: the 1924 independent film The Lone Wolf, directed by S. E. V. Taylor and starring Dorothy Dalton and Jack Holt (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3163); the 1935 Columbia film The Lone Wolf Returns (see entry); and The Lone Wolf and the Lady, ...

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Working titles for this film were The Lone Wolf's Daughter and The Lone Wolf. Modern sources indicate that although the script for Columbia's 1929 film The Lone Wolf's Daughter (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3165) was used as the basis for this film, the story was changed completely following John Latimer's assignment to the screenplay. Louis Joseph Vance's "The Lone Wolf" stories and novels provided the basis for at least twenty-four films made between 1917 and 1949. Following the 1938 release of its The Lone Wolf in Paris, Columbia committed itself to making a series of "The Lone Wolf" films with Warren William starring as the gentleman sleuth, and initiated the series with this film. Following the release of The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt, William starred in eight "The Lone Wolf" pictures, until 1946, when Gerald Mohr took over the role in The Notorious Lone Wolf. The first film based on the "The Lone Wolf" novels was the 1917 Herbert Brenon production The Lone Wolf, which featured Bert Lytell as detective "Michael Lanyard" (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1911-20; F1.2583). Other films based on the "The Lone Wolf" novels, which were not part of Columbia's series starring Warren William, include: the 1924 independent film The Lone Wolf, directed by S. E. V. Taylor and starring Dorothy Dalton and Jack Holt (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.3163); the 1935 Columbia film The Lone Wolf Returns (see entry); and The Lone Wolf and the Lady, directed by John Hoffman and starring Ron Randell. In Apr 1954, the first episode of the The Lone Wolf television series (also known as Streets of Danger) had its non-network television premiere. The half-hour show was produced by Jack Gross and Philip Krasne and starred Louis Hayward as "Michael Lanyard." This film marked British stage director Peter Godfrey's first screen effort. Modern sources note that the name of "Lanyard's" valet, known in previous "The Lone Wolf" films as "Jenkins," was changed to "Jameson" for this and other films. For a list of additional titles in the "The Lone Wolf" series, consult the Series Index.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 Jan 1939
p. 3
Film Daily
24 Jan 1939
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 1938
p. 3
Hollywood Reporter
19 Nov 1938
p. 7
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1938
p. 8
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jan 1939
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
26 Jan 1939
p. 10
Motion Picture Herald
28 Jan 1939
p. 36
New York Times
6 Mar 1939
p. 11
Variety
25 Jan 1939
p. 15
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Art Black
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus dir
SOUND
STAND INS
Stand-in for Warren William
Stand-in for Ida Lupino
Stand-in for Rita Hayworth
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on characters created by Louis Joseph Vance.
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Titles:
The Lone Wolf
The Lone Wolf's Daughter
Release Date:
27 January 1939
Production Date:
21 Nov--12 Dec 1938
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Columbia Pictures Corp. of California, Ltd.
28 January 1939
LP8588
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65,67 or 69
Length(in feet):
6,542
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
4927
SYNOPSIS

After retiring from the wrong side of the law, ex-jewel thief Michael Lanyard, known as The Lone Wolf, settles down to a legitimate job in Washington, D.C. One evening, Lanyard is abducted by gunmen and taken to the leader of an espionage ring, Spiro, who offers Lanyard $10,000 to pick the War Department's safe and steal the plans for a new anti-aircraft gun. When Lanyard refuses to accept the assignment, Spiro releases him, but not before stealing several cigarettes from him. The following day, the War Department safe is robbed and Lanyard's half-smoked cigarettes are found at the scene of the crime. As a result, Inspector Thomas, Lanyard's nemesis, suspects the former jewel thief of the crime and pays him a visit. After giving the inspector his alibi, Lanyard leaves for a cocktail party with Val Carson, the senator's daughter, who is determined to marry Lanyard. Soon after arriving at the bar, Lanyard is approached by Karen, one of Spiro's operatives, and lured to Spiro's house, where he is informed that the spies made off with only half of the plans that were supposed to have been stolen, and that he will be expected to retrieve the remaining plans, which are located at the home of an inventor named Palmer. Lanyard is led forcibly to Palmer's house, where he manages to elude his captors long enough to remove the real plans from the safe and replace them with a baby carriage. After Spiro's men find the carriage, Lanyard turns the real plans over to Val's father and goes to Spiro's house to recover the remaining plans. Later, when Karen fails ...

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After retiring from the wrong side of the law, ex-jewel thief Michael Lanyard, known as The Lone Wolf, settles down to a legitimate job in Washington, D.C. One evening, Lanyard is abducted by gunmen and taken to the leader of an espionage ring, Spiro, who offers Lanyard $10,000 to pick the War Department's safe and steal the plans for a new anti-aircraft gun. When Lanyard refuses to accept the assignment, Spiro releases him, but not before stealing several cigarettes from him. The following day, the War Department safe is robbed and Lanyard's half-smoked cigarettes are found at the scene of the crime. As a result, Inspector Thomas, Lanyard's nemesis, suspects the former jewel thief of the crime and pays him a visit. After giving the inspector his alibi, Lanyard leaves for a cocktail party with Val Carson, the senator's daughter, who is determined to marry Lanyard. Soon after arriving at the bar, Lanyard is approached by Karen, one of Spiro's operatives, and lured to Spiro's house, where he is informed that the spies made off with only half of the plans that were supposed to have been stolen, and that he will be expected to retrieve the remaining plans, which are located at the home of an inventor named Palmer. Lanyard is led forcibly to Palmer's house, where he manages to elude his captors long enough to remove the real plans from the safe and replace them with a baby carriage. After Spiro's men find the carriage, Lanyard turns the real plans over to Val's father and goes to Spiro's house to recover the remaining plans. Later, when Karen fails in her attempt to buy the secret plans from Lanyard, she drives away. Unknown to Karen, however, Lanyard's daughter Patricia, an amateur detective, lies hidden in her car. While trailing Spiro, Lanyard is recaptured by the master spy, but is saved by Patricia, who creates a diversion by stealing the plans once again. A car chase ensues and ends when the police arrive and arrest the spies.

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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.