Inside the Lines

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Inside the Lines
DVD cover for home release of film
Directed byRoy Pomeroy[1]
Produced byWilliam LeBaron
Roy Pomeroy[1]
Screenplay byJohn Farrow
Ewart Adamson[2]
Based onThe play, Inside the Lines
by Earl Derr Biggers[2]
StarringBetty Compson
Ralph Forbes
Mischa Auer[3]
Music byRoy Webb[citation needed]
CinematographyNicholas Musuraca[3]
Edited byGeorge Marsh
Ann McKnight[citation needed]
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • July 5, 1930 (1930-07-05) (US)[2]
Running time
72 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Full film

Inside the Lines is a 1930 American Pre-Code spy drama film starring Betty Compson, Ralph Forbes, and Mischa Auer. Directed by Roy Pomeroy (who also was the associate producer) from a screenplay by John Farrow and Ewart Adamson, which in turn was based on the 1915 Broadway play of the same name by Earl Derr Biggers. This version is a remake of the 1918 silent version, also with the same name. This film exists in the public domain because the claimants did not renew the copyright after 28 years.


Jane Gershon is engaged to Eric Woodhouse, living in Germany prior to the onset of World War I. When the war breaks out, they are forced to separate, but are reunited months later in Gibraltar, at the British fortress there. Both are supposedly German spies with orders to destroy the British fleet, anchored in the harbor.

Not fully trusting either of them, the German government has sent another agent, the Hindu Amahdi, to ensure that their sabotage plans are carried out. Both Jane and Eric believe the sincerity of the other as a German agent. When it appears that Jane's attempt to destroy the fleet is uncovered, to save her, Eric takes the blame and seemingly commits suicide. However, when Ahmadi uncovers the truth that Jane is really a double agent for the British government, he attempts to go through with the sabotage. When he is about to kill Jane, Eric reappears and kills him. Jane discovers Eric is also a British double agent and they are happily reunited.


(cast list is per AFI database)[2]


The play of the same name, on which this screenplay was based, was produced in 1915 at the Longacre Theatre.[5]

This film is a remake of the 1918 silent version, also titled Within the Lines, which was directed by David H. Hartford, and starred Lewis Stone and Marguerite Clayton, based on a screenplay by Monte M. Katterjohn. The silent version was produced by Delcah Photoplays, Inc. and Pyramid Film Corporation, and distributed by the World Film Company.[6]

In 1958, the film entered the public domain in the USA due to the copyright claimants failure to renew the copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Inside the Lines: Technical Details". Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Inside the Lines: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Inside the Lines, Overview". Turner Classic Movies. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Jewell, Richard B.; Harbin, Vernon (1982). The RKO Story. New York: Arlington House. p. 28. ISBN 0-517-546566.
  5. ^ "Inside the Lines". Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  6. ^ "Inside the Lines: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014. Retrieved October 28, 2016.
  7. ^ Pierce, David (June 2007). "Forgotten Faces: Why Some of Our Cinema Heritage Is Part of the Public Domain". Film History: An International Journal. 19 (2): 125–43. doi:10.2979/FIL.2007.19.2.125. ISSN 0892-2160. JSTOR 25165419. OCLC 15122313. See Note #60, pg. 143

External links[edit]