Panama Patrol (March 20, 1939)
Released on March 20, 1939: Government Secret Agents try to crack the code for secret messages about a planned sabotage bombing, but there is a double agent among them who will help the enemy keep one step ahead of them.
Produced by Franklyn Warner
Directed by Charles Lamont
Written by Arthur Hoerl and Monroe Shaff
The Actors: Leon Ames (Major Phillip Waring), Charlotte Wynters (Helen Lane), Adrienne Ames (Lia Maing), Weldon Heyburn (Lieutenant Murdock), Abner Biberman (Arlie Johnson), Sidney Miller (Jimmy, office boy), Don 'Red' Barry (Lieutenant Loring), Hugh McArthur (Lieutenant Everett), J. Scott Smart (Eli Maing), Frank Darien (retired secret agent Sergeant Sam, the watchman), Wilhelm von Brincken (Marlin), Paul McVey (Baird), Richard Loo (Tommy Young), Philip Ahn (Suri), Gerald Mohr (pilot), Philson Ahn (Khantow), Harry C. Bradley (marriage license clerk), Lew Kelly (Captain Lacey)
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Spies, The Cipher Machine and Elkton Maryland
When I was a youngster television held my attention for hours, and cartoons were a big part of the lure. Johnny Quest was a young cartoon boy who was always involved in an adventure that included science fiction wonders or spy thrillers back in the 1960's. One of the advertisers for that show offered to send youngsters a secret decoder ring which could be used to decipher secret messages, but this wasn't the first secret cypher toy given to children.
In 1934, five years before this motion picture was filmed, the Ovaltine chocolate company gave away secret cypher disks to children as part of their sponsorship of the Little Orphan Anne radio program. The cypher disk was made of metal that could be pinned to your clothing and always available to twist the outer dial and match the numbers to alphabet letters.
This pre World War II spy adventure is all about secret codes . . . . cyphers . . . . And the American spies in Washington who were in charge of decoding secret messages from foreign spies. Leon Ames is Major Phillip Waring, head of the office, and as our adventure opens he is trying to fill out a marriage license form. Helen Lane is one of the cypher spies in his office and they would like to get married. Unfortunately they are interrupted by a sudden call informing them of a secret message that was intercepted from a foreign agent. The safety of the nation depends on the talents of Major Waring and his bride-to-be Helen Lane and they must cancel their wedding and honeymoon.
Thus begins an adventure that will take the American spies to New York City and back to Washington in search of three photo slides that contain the location of a sabotage bombing that will disrupt the entire nation if it succeeds. Death and Danger stalk the secret agents as they fall into the hands of the enemy because of a traitor who is part of their group. It will all end in Elkton, Maryland, famous in 1939 for one thing, and one thing only. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Abner Biberman and J. Scott Smart
Charlottte Wynters and Leon Ames
Charlotte Wynters and Leon Ames
J. Scott Smart
Leon Ames and Don 'Red' Barry
Sidney Miller and Frank Darien
Weldon Heyburn and Leon Ames
Wilhelm von Brincken and Gerald Mohr