Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tonight's Movie: Radar Secret Service (1950)

RADAR SECRET SERVICE (1950) must have the lowest IMDb rating of any film I've ever seen -- and yet I quite enjoyed it!

I love this kind of rather geeky police procedural, with overly earnest members of law enforcement rhapsodizing about the wonders of RADAR! I'm not sure I'd say it's so bad it's good, but there's definitely something about its quaint attitudes and manner of storytelling which I find most enjoyable. Add in a good cast including Adele Jergens, Ralph (DICK TRACY) Byrd, and Myrna Dell, and it makes for a fun and breezy 59 minutes.

The story concerns a unit of law enforcement which uses various radar gadgets; a handheld unit helps locate a gun buried in the dirt, and radar on a police car and a helicopter helps track down stolen atomic materials!

It's not always believable, but the fantastic uses for radar are part of the fun. For instance, I was never quite clear on how the radar beamed a crystal clear picture of various highways back to headquarters so that the police could watch car chases and note license plate numbers. And a chopper armed with a radar detector can sweep an entire city and zero in on atomic materials?

As told in this film, it seems like there's nothing radar can't do, causing femme fatale Adele Jergens to wring her hands about law enforcement and their radar getting in the way of her schemes. There are also delightful periodic newspaper headlines about another win for the radar unit.

The lead agents are played by John Howard (George Kittredge in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY) and Ralph Byrd, who I very much enjoyed in STAGE STRUCK (1948).

Tom Neal leads the bad guys. The cast also includes Pierre Watkin, Tristram Coffin, Sid Melton, Robert Kent, Riley Hill, and Robert Carson.

RADAR SECRET SERVICE was directed by Sam Newfield and photographed by Ernest Miller for Lippert Pictures.

The movie is part of VCI's nine-film Forgotten Noir & Crime Vol. 4. It's a beautiful print.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds fun - and lots of people we know in the cast.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching it just now and agree with your assessment. Good cast.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Delighted to know you had fun with this one too, Vienna! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me and other readers know.

Best wishes,

8:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How about plan9 from outer space, the 50 foot woman, beast of yucca flats, oh goody,let's have fun watching these classic films. Want better,watch Gone with the wind, for example.

7:24 PM  

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