Code of the Secret Service

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Code of the Secret Service
Directed by Noel M. Smith
Produced by Bryan Foy
Hal B. Wallis
Jack Warner
Screenplay by William H. Moran
Lee Katz
Dean Riesner
Starring Ronald Reagan
Rosella Towne
Eddie Foy, Jr.
Moroni Olsen
Edgar Edwards
Jack Mower
Music by Bernhard Kaun
Max Steiner
Cinematography Ted D. McCord
Edited by Frederick Richards
Production
  company
Warner Bros.
Release date(s)
  • May 27, 1939 (1939-05-27)
Running time 58 minutes
Country United States
Language English
External video
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.[1]

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?"[1]

Plot[edit]

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.[2][3][4] 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).[5]

Cast[edit]

The cast included:[2][6][7][8]

Reception[edit]

Reagan called Code of the Secret Service "the worst picture I ever made"[9] 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."[1]

In a 1939 review, the Calgary Herald called the movie "quite far-fetched in places and not very interesting as a whole."[10]

Ronald Reagan assassination attempt[edit]

Secret Service Agent Jerry Parr walks behind President Ronald Reagan just moments before the 1981 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.[9][11][12][13][14][15][16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stephanie Thames. "Code of the Secret Service". TCM Movie Database. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Code of the Secret Service at the TCM Movie Database
  3. ^ "Synopsis of Code of the Secret Service". AMC. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ Hal Erickson. "Code of the Secret Service Synopsis - Plot Summary". Fandango/Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ Zach Nauth (February 15, 1985). "Fan Who Saved Life of President to Get His Reward Today". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Code of the Secret Service at the Internet Movie Database
  7. ^ "Code of the Secret Service Movie Credits, Cast, and Actor Biographies". AMC. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Code of the Secret Service Cast and Crew". Fandango. Retrieved April 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Pat Williams; Jim Denney (February 2008). Souls of Steel: How to Build Character in Ourselves and Our Kids. New York City: FaithWords/Hachette Book Group USA. ISBN 978-0-446-51129-2. 
  10. ^ "'The Man In The Iron Mask' Is Elaborately Produced, Packs Lots of Excitement". Calgary Herald. October 2, 1939. p. 5. 
  11. ^ Del Quentin Wilber (2011). Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan. New York City: Henry Holt and Company. pp. 18–20, 224. ISBN 978-0-8050-9346-9. 
  12. ^ Chris Matthews (2009). The Hardball Handbook: How to Win at Life. New York City: Random House. pp. 173–174. ISBN 978-0-8129-7597-0. 
  13. ^ Peter Schweizer (2002). Reagan's War: The Epic Story of His Forty-Year Struggle and Final Triumph Over Communism. New York City: Anchor Books/Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-7556-0. 
  14. ^ Peggy Noonan (2001). When Character was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan. New York City: Viking Penguin. p. 195. ISBN 0-670-88235-6. 
  15. ^ Rick Beyer (2007). The Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy. New York City: The History Channel/HarperCollins. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-06-076018-2. 
  16. ^ Scott D. Pierce (October 22, 2004). "Secret Service secrets revealed". Deseret News. 

External links[edit]