The Spy Ring (1938)

Article 3634 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-12-2011
Posting Date: 7-27-2011
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Featuring William Hall, Jane Wyman, Esther Ralston
Country: USA
What it is: Spy movie

A captain is assigned to protect the secrets surrounding a new machine gun (that will revolutionize anti-aircraft warfare) after its inventor is killed.

I don’t really care what they call this enhancement to the machine gun; I know a Gizmo Maguffin when I see one. Still, like the better movies with your basic Gizmo Maguffin plot, this one uses the Maguffin in the final reel, but that doesn’t really change the fact that the Maguffin is rather dull and that the whole plot essentially revolves around spies trying to get a hold of it. It’s efficiently directed and has some good moments, but I find the script a little confusing, and I don’t find the idea that the plot hinges on the results of a polo game to be particularly interesting. Actually, the most fun I had with the movie was in checking the credits afterward; I was curious about who played the part of an intimidating craggy-faced character known as “The Champ” only to discover it was none other than Glenn Strange.


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