Outside the 3-Mile Limit (1940)

63-64 mins | Drama | 7 March 1940

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HISTORY

Working titles for this film were Illicit Cargo , Criminal Cargo , Mutiny on the Seas and Beyond the Three Mile Limit . According to the Var review, the picture was inspired by a news report of a fight between federal authorities and a gambling ship off the California coast. Although HR production charts list actors Kathleen Howard and John Wray in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been ... More Less

Working titles for this film were Illicit Cargo , Criminal Cargo , Mutiny on the Seas and Beyond the Three Mile Limit . According to the Var review, the picture was inspired by a news report of a fight between federal authorities and a gambling ship off the California coast. Although HR production charts list actors Kathleen Howard and John Wray in the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Feb 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
13 Feb 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Sep 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Sep 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
9 Feb 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Daily
19 Feb 40
p. 4.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Feb 40
p. 41.
New York Times
8 Apr 40
p. 15.
Variety
13 Mar 40
p. 16.
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Beyond the Three Mile Limit
Criminal Cargo
Illicit Cargo
Mutiny on the Seas
Release Date:
7 March 1940
Production Date:
7 September--late September 1939
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
25 February 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9463
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Victor High Fidelity Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
63-64
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
5746
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the trail of a gang of counterfeiters who are planting phony money on the patrons of a Los Angeles-based gambling ship owned by Dave Reeves, secret service agent Conway poses as a bouncer and is hired on as a member of the crew. Conway's plans soon go awry, however, when his partner, Melvin Pierce, is exposed as a government agent and Reeves orders him slain and his body thrown overboard. In an effort to escape the law before the murdered man's body is washed ashore, Reeves clears the ship of all passengers and heads out to sea beyond the three mile limit. The open seas offer Reeves no sanctuary, however, when Reeves's crew mutinies. After the fuel runs low, Conway, Reeves, Captain Bailey and Jimmy Rothacker, a mysterious playboy, take the ship's dory and land at a Central American coast, where Bailey assures them that they will find sanctuary with Van Cleve, a wealthy rug dealer. Conway soon recognizes one of Van Cleve's rug designers as a counterfeiter, and realizes that Van Cleve is the power behind the counterfeiting ring. Conway confides his suspicions to Jimmy, who then admits that he is a reporter working on the counterfeiting story. Jimmy, sensing an impending danger, sends Dorothy Kenney, a reporter writing the story of Van Cleve's life, for outside help. Shortly thereafter, Reeves confesses to Conway that he killed Pierce and swears that he is not involved with the counterfeiters. Conway's cover is exposed by one of Van Cleve's men, a designer who recognizes Conway as a government agent. Van Cleve then locks Conway, Jimmy and Reeves in a room and sets fire to ... +


On the trail of a gang of counterfeiters who are planting phony money on the patrons of a Los Angeles-based gambling ship owned by Dave Reeves, secret service agent Conway poses as a bouncer and is hired on as a member of the crew. Conway's plans soon go awry, however, when his partner, Melvin Pierce, is exposed as a government agent and Reeves orders him slain and his body thrown overboard. In an effort to escape the law before the murdered man's body is washed ashore, Reeves clears the ship of all passengers and heads out to sea beyond the three mile limit. The open seas offer Reeves no sanctuary, however, when Reeves's crew mutinies. After the fuel runs low, Conway, Reeves, Captain Bailey and Jimmy Rothacker, a mysterious playboy, take the ship's dory and land at a Central American coast, where Bailey assures them that they will find sanctuary with Van Cleve, a wealthy rug dealer. Conway soon recognizes one of Van Cleve's rug designers as a counterfeiter, and realizes that Van Cleve is the power behind the counterfeiting ring. Conway confides his suspicions to Jimmy, who then admits that he is a reporter working on the counterfeiting story. Jimmy, sensing an impending danger, sends Dorothy Kenney, a reporter writing the story of Van Cleve's life, for outside help. Shortly thereafter, Reeves confesses to Conway that he killed Pierce and swears that he is not involved with the counterfeiters. Conway's cover is exposed by one of Van Cleve's men, a designer who recognizes Conway as a government agent. Van Cleve then locks Conway, Jimmy and Reeves in a room and sets fire to the house. Reeves is shot while trying to escape, but Dorothy arrives with the authorities in time to save Conway and Jimmy. As Van Cleve and his men are arrested, Dorothy admits that she has wired the story back to the United States with Jimmy's byline, thus prompting Jimmy to propose to her. +

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.