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Bancroft Of The Secret Service Mysteries Collection - 4 Movies (2 Disc)

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In his third year as a Warner Bros. contract player, U.S. President Ronald Reagan did time as a federal employee 40 years before becoming U.S. President. In 4 fast-paced B-movies, he was Lt. "Brass" Bancroft, a stalwart Secret Service agent who risked life and limb to bring to justice illegal alien smugglers, counterfeiters and enemy spies. Apprehend the 2-disc Brass Bancroft of the Secret Service Mysteries Collection in the name of the law - and of vintage Hollywood fun.

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Special Features

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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: WB
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2010
  • Run Time: 231 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0049IHWZK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,608 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Warner Bros. Pictures presents "BRASS BANCROFT OF THE SECRET SERVICE MYSTERIES COLLECTION" (1939/1940) (231 min/B&W) -- Starring Ronald Reagan, Eddie Foy Jr., & John Litel

Ronald Reagan made a series of 4 "Brass Bancroft" films in 1939-'40. Although essentially "B" movies they benefited from Warner Bros expertise and as such were well received and have since achieved "cult" status (probably due to Reagan's other job). The films were based on stories from real-life secret service chief W. H. Moran and pitted Brass against spy & saboteurs from within & without USA. Brass was ably supported by Eddie Foy Jr. as his side-kick (& classy comic relief) Gabby Watters and (mostly) John Litel as his boss Saxby.

Each of the movies is a fast moving adventure with nice performances, good stories & solid scripting. Reagan (though quite young at the time) plays Brass with an easy-going charm and his performance is both high energy down-to-business and charismatic at the same time.

This "Secret Service" entry might not seem like anything startlingly new today, but in 1939 it broke some ground. Right at the beginning, when the pilot fears being caught carrying illegal aliens, the horrific act surely shocked audiences.

Brass Bancroft Film Series:
1. Secret Service of the Air (1939)
2. Code of the Secret Service (1939)
3. Smashing the Money Ring (1939)
4. Murder in the Air (1940)

BIOS:
1. Ronald Reagan [aka: Ronald Wilson Reagan]
Date of Birth: 6 February 1911 - Tampico, Illinois
Date of Death: 5 June 2004, Bel Air, Los Angeles, California

2. Eddie Foy Jr.
Date of Birth: 4 February 1905 - New Rochelle, New York
Date of Death: 15 July 1983 - Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California

Mr.
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Small but interesting collection of an old "B" series that only lasted four moviles. The flicks star Ronald Reagan as Brass Bancroft, Secret Service Agent, and Eddie Foy, Jr., as his sometimes pain in the neck partner Gabby Watters. Acting is only so-so, but the movies are mostly fast-paced and fun. Quality is very good. Enjoyable series is recommended.
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Having heard of these films, I was pleased that WB liberated them from their archive. Of course, Republicans will love seeing The Gipper portray a "tough on crime" secret service agent. But Democrats too should watch these movies. Not only for the sake of Americana, but also Reagan, when he made these films, was a Democrat.

One thing that surprised me was that these films followed the Bond formula. 1) Something bad happens 2) We flash to M/Saxby's office where the orders are given 3) Then off to adventure.

Refreshingly, these films contain a 1930s sensibility: the dashing hero, the love interest, and the oddball sidekick with a funny name. It is like watching the old 1940s serials, but with better writing and better acting--apologies to Buster Crabbe (Flash Gordon: Box Set (Space Soldiers/Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars/Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe) (3DVD)).

These are light action films, like CHiPs: The Complete Second Season. This is not bad, since they provide us a good benchmark on how Bond-Bourne-Bauer-Batman have changed the intensity level of action films.

The first two films are based on the W. H. Moran's memoirs, he a former chief of the Secret Service. Hence, they are the better of the four films. The third film gives Foy (Gabby) a more prominent role. Like Peter Sellers (The Pink Panther (1963),
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Even as an actor Ronald Reagan was very charismatic. That comes through in these movies. Back when they did not have much technology they had to rely on good stories and great acting. That is certainly the case here. One cast member, John Litel, was in quite a few good movies including the Nancy Drew series.
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This is a great set of four short film movies starring Ronald Regan and Eddie Foy Jr. released in the late 30s to early 40s. All movies are in Full frame and runs for about 55mins to 60mins. These movies star: Ronald Regan and Eddie Foy Jr., Rosella Towne, John Litel, Margot Stevenson, James Stephenson, Robert Warwick, John Ridgely, plus others! Overall this is a great item to get and I would recommend it to anyone.
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I liked these movies. They are packed with action and waste no time getting to it. SMASHING THE MONEY RING was more of a prison movie. Good story. CODE OF THE SECRET SERVICE is very action-packed. MURDER IN THE AIR refers to the last 20 minutes which take place on a dirigible. In fact, there is a brief newsreel clip of probably the dirigible MACON coming out of Hangar No. 1 at Naval Air Station Moffett Field in the early 1930s. The more I see of B-movies the less inclined I am to be amused by the inane antics of the sidekicks, in this case, Eddie Foy, Jr., but he was just doing what the script called for. The picture and sound quality are excellent. Too bad Ronnie himself is not around to see this. I highly recommend this set of DVDs.
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