The Spy Ring
Cast & Crew
Joseph H. Lewis
The new top-secret CQ rotating machine gun is demonstrated in target practice by cavalry captains Todd Hayden and Robert Scott. After returning to his Washington, D.C. apartment, Scott finds Mrs. Jean Bruce, a widow, steaming open an official letter. Moments later, Todd finds Scott dead, and military officials announce his demise as an accidental death. Colonel A. R. Bowen of Military Intelligence orders Todd to return to his regiment in Monterey to continue Scott's experiments and capture enemy agents. When he arrives in Monterey, Todd is immediately placed on the 19th Cavalry's polo team to even the odds for a game on which the whole regiment has wagered heavily. In addition, Todd reignites his old romance with Elaine Burdette, the daughter of the commanding officer, and meets Frank Denton, a friend of Mrs. Bruce's and leader of the opposing team. At a dinner dance, Todd leaves Elaine with Denton and turns his attentions to Mrs. Bruce. Corporal Timothy O'Reilly, who has been assigned to keep Todd in shape for the tournament, gets drunk while imbibing the liquor Mrs. Bruce pours for Todd. Feigning intoxication, Todd secures Denton's fingerprint. Suspecting Denton of a double-cross, Mrs. Bruce lends the army eight champion Argentine polo ponies to insure a victory. O'Reilly alerts Todd to suspicious movements by Denton and Mrs. Bruce, and an automobile chase ensues. Todd succeeds in capturing the chauffeur, who finally talks after being threatened with a firing squad. While the Cavalry plays the Rainbows at Meadowbrook Field, Todd forces Mrs. Bruce into revealing her scheme by allowing Denton to win. The fingerprints then reveal that Denton is a former machine gun sergeant who escaped from Leavenworth Prison in 1924. Soon after, Denton is found dead by Todd, who is taken prisoner, along with Elaine, by Mrs. Bruce and a confederate. While dismissing O'Reilly, Todd slips him the secret machine gun firing pin. With the improved machine gun, O'Reilly and post detective Don Mayhew prevent Mrs. Bruce and her captives from escaping in an airplane across the border.
Joseph H. Lewis
The working title of this film was International Spy. As noted in the Film Daily review, Jane Carleton was a pseudonym for Esther Ralston; however, although Esther Ralston can be identified on screen, and is credited in the Variety review, this film is not included in her autobiography or modern filmographies for the actress. Reviews were almost unanimously negative: Variety called the film "trivial," while New York Times called it a "laborious and dreary tale," and devoted the body of the review to a review of the cartoon that preceded the film.