Before he went onto a somewhat noteworthy career in politics, a young Ronald Reagan had a somewhat noteworthy career in Hollywood. He was a contract player at Warner Bros and as the world started plunging into War, he starred in a series of low budget (starting in 1939), playing Lt. “Brass” Bancroft. He would go onto to do 4 of these fast-paced and fun films in 2 years. They were in order
– Secret Service of the Air (1939)
– Code of the Secret Service (1939)
– Smashing the Money Ring (1939)
– Murder in the Air (1940)
All of the movies involve Brass trying to solve a mystery as part of the Secret Service. I would catch these films on a local TV channel that showed older films on Sunday afternoons and I remember asking my mother why the president of the United States was in an obviously low budget film? She explained his history and for some reason I found it strangely satisfying to think I lived in a country where a guy could go from making B-movies to the leader of our country. I had not see these movies in years but with Reagan’s 100th birthday celebration making the news, I thought I would take a look at these classic films once again. So after a quick search I found the full box set over at the Warner Archive. They have a great overview of the set there:
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.
It was thrilling to watch these again and a little strange to see our former president in movies as an adult, but the moves were enjoyable in a “serial” sorta way. So, if you like fun older films and want to see Reagan at his low budget finest, point your browser to the Warner Archive and pick up the Brass Bancroft box set today.