They Made Her a Spy


1h 9m 1939
They Made Her a Spy

Brief Synopsis

A woman becomes a secret agent to avenge her brother's death.

Film Details

Also Known As
Miss X
Genre
Adventure
Spy
Release Date
Apr 14, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 29 Mar 1939
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m

Synopsis

After her brother, a lieutenant in the army, is killed by sabotage, Irene Eaton quits her job and volunteers her services to Col. Shaw of army intelligence in order to bring the criminals to justice. Working undercover as an unscrupulous government employee, Irene goes to the Dome Cafe, the saboteurs' nest. There, Irene makes contact with their chief, Dr. Krull, who assigns her to work with James Huntley, a photographer in the employ of the spies. Meanwhile, Col. Shaw is depending on Irene to deliver the mastermind behind the spies, but time is running short. Irene faces a crisis when Shaw is kidnapped by the spies and threatened with death unless he discloses the location of the secret plans. While driving Shaw to his death, Irene forces the car into a ditch, thus putting her own life in jeopardy. When Krull's henchman, Ben Dawson, orders Huntley to kill Irene, the photographer allows the girl to escape. Determined to unmask the mastermind, Irene returns to the Dome, where she tricks Krull into disclosing his boss's phone number, which belongs to Everett Brock, a congressional investigator. Huntley is then brought in by the police, and confesses that he is not a spy but an investigative reporter on the trail of a story. Shaw, unmasked, flees the office and takes refuge in the Washington Monument, from which he jumps to his death. With Brock's demise, the cloud is lifted from the army intelligence agency, and Irene and Huntley are married.

Film Details

Also Known As
Miss X
Genre
Adventure
Spy
Release Date
Apr 14, 1939
Premiere Information
New York opening: week of 29 Mar 1939
Production Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Distribution Company
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 9m

Articles

They Made Her a Spy -


RKO's They Made Her a Spy (1939) was not actress Sally Eilers' first stab at cinematic espionage. A discovery of Mack Sennett (by way of actress friend Carole Lombard, who provided the introduction), Eilers went on to be a WAMPAS Baby Star (Class of 1928, alongside Lupé Velez) and enjoyed starring roles alongside Buster Keaton in Doughboys (1930), in Quick Millions (1931) with Spencer Tracy, and in Frank Borzage's Bad Girl (1931), opposite James Dunn. She was called to Great Britain to play an actress ensnared by an international spy ring in Allan Dwan's I Spy (1931) but her popularity with moviegoers on both sides of the Atlantic waned by mid-decade, after which she stepped into character parts. Once dubbed "the most beautiful girl in movies" (both Sennett and Florenz Ziegfeld claimed coinage copyright), Eilers rebounded at RKO, where she starred in a few efficient B-pictures aimed at the bottom berth of a double bill. In Jack HIvely's They Made Her a Spy (1939), Eilers plays a comely civilian driven into government service by the death of her soldier brother at the hands of foreign saboteurs. As had his leading lady, second-billed Allan Lane had played prominent roles for the major studios earlier in his career but he eventually migrated to Republic Pictures, where he played cowboy hero Red Ryder before rebranding himself as Allan "Rocky" Lane for a ten-year run of signature shoot-em-ups; the actor later provided the voice of TV's favorite talking horse Mr. Ed, for six seasons on CBS.

By Richard Harland Smith
They Made Her A Spy -

They Made Her a Spy -

RKO's They Made Her a Spy (1939) was not actress Sally Eilers' first stab at cinematic espionage. A discovery of Mack Sennett (by way of actress friend Carole Lombard, who provided the introduction), Eilers went on to be a WAMPAS Baby Star (Class of 1928, alongside Lupé Velez) and enjoyed starring roles alongside Buster Keaton in Doughboys (1930), in Quick Millions (1931) with Spencer Tracy, and in Frank Borzage's Bad Girl (1931), opposite James Dunn. She was called to Great Britain to play an actress ensnared by an international spy ring in Allan Dwan's I Spy (1931) but her popularity with moviegoers on both sides of the Atlantic waned by mid-decade, after which she stepped into character parts. Once dubbed "the most beautiful girl in movies" (both Sennett and Florenz Ziegfeld claimed coinage copyright), Eilers rebounded at RKO, where she starred in a few efficient B-pictures aimed at the bottom berth of a double bill. In Jack HIvely's They Made Her a Spy (1939), Eilers plays a comely civilian driven into government service by the death of her soldier brother at the hands of foreign saboteurs. As had his leading lady, second-billed Allan Lane had played prominent roles for the major studios earlier in his career but he eventually migrated to Republic Pictures, where he played cowboy hero Red Ryder before rebranding himself as Allan "Rocky" Lane for a ten-year run of signature shoot-em-ups; the actor later provided the voice of TV's favorite talking horse Mr. Ed, for six seasons on CBS. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of this film was Miss X. Although onscreen credits and most reviews attribute the story to George Bricker, the Variety review credits Bricker and Lionel Houser with story. According to the Variety review, this picture marked Jack Hively's directorial debut.