Code of the Secret Service
|Code of the Secret Service|
|Directed by||Noel M. Smith|
|Produced by||Bryan Foy
Hal B. Wallis
|Screenplay by||William H. Moran
Eddie Foy, Jr.
|Music by||Bernhard Kaun
|Cinematography||Ted D. McCord|
|Edited by||Frederick Richards|
|Running time||58 minutes|
|Original Trailer for Code of the Secret Service|
Code of the Secret Service is a 1939 film directed by Noel M. Smith and starring Ronald Reagan. It is the second of four films in the U.S. Secret Service Agent Brass Bancroft series, having been preceded by Secret Service of the Air (1939) and followed by Smashing the Money Ring (1939) and Murder in the Air (1940).
The series was part of a late 1930s effort by Warner Bros. to produce films depicting law enforcement in a positive light under pressure from Homer Stille Cummings (Franklin D. Roosevelt's Attorney General) and Will H. Hays (creator of the Motion Picture Production Code, the movie industry's censorship guidelines), due to the studio's part in producing early 1930s films glamorizing gangsters.
The series also enabled Warner Bros. to create Reagan's screen persona, with Reagan even showing up to the set of Code of the Secret Service and asking director Noel M. Smith, "When do I fight and whom?"
United States Secret Service Lieutenant Brass Bancroft (Ronald Reagan) and his partner, Gabby Watters (Eddie Foy, Jr., producer Bryan Foy's brother), seek engraving plates stolen from the U.S. Treasury Department, and the investigation leads Bancroft and Watters to pursue a counterfeiting ring in Mexico. Along the way, Bancroft is falsely blamed for the death of a fellow Secret Service agent, escapes from jail, captures the leader of the counterfeiting ring, and wins the heart of his love interest, Elaine (Rosella Towne).
- Ronald Reagan as Lieutenant Brass Bancroft
- Rosella Towne as Elaine
- Eddie Foy, Jr. as Gabby Watters
- Moroni Olsen as Parker
- Edgar Edwards as Ross
- Jack Mower as Decker
- John Gallaudet as Dan Crockett
- Joseph King as Tom "Jim" Saxby
- Steve Darrell as Butch, a henchman
- Sol Gorss as Dutch, a henchman
- George Regas as Mexican police officer
Reagan called Code of the Secret Service "the worst picture I ever made" and commented on it, "never has an egg of such dimensions been laid." Producer Bryan Foy attempted to shelve the film. Warner Bros. refused to do so, but did agree to not release it in Los Angeles. Commenting on the film, a ticket taker at a movie theater in another city reportedly told Reagan, "You should be ashamed."
Ronald Reagan assassination attempt
After seeing the movie repeatedly as a child, Jerry Parr was inspired to join the Secret Service. Parr would go on to save the life of the President of the United States in a 1981 assassination attempt. The President was Ronald Reagan, the star of Code of the Secret Service.
- Stephanie Thames. "Code of the Secret Service". TCM Movie Database. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Code of the Secret Service at the TCM Movie Database
- "Synopsis of Code of the Secret Service". AMC. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Hal Erickson. "Code of the Secret Service Synopsis - Plot Summary". Fandango/Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Zach Nauth (February 15, 1985). "Fan Who Saved Life of President to Get His Reward Today". Los Angeles Times.
- Code of the Secret Service at the Internet Movie Database
- "Code of the Secret Service Movie Credits, Cast, and Actor Biographies". AMC. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- "Code of the Secret Service Cast and Crew". Fandango. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
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