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THEY MADE HER A SPY (director: Jack Hively; screenwriters: Jo Pagano/Michael Kanin/story by George Bricker & Lionel Houser; cinematographer: Nicholas Musuraca; editor: Harry Marker; music: Roy Webb; cast: Sally Eilers (Irene Eaton), Fritz Leiber (Dr. Krull), Allan Lane (James Huntley), Theodor Von Eltz (Colonel Page), Frank M. Thomas (Colonel Shaw), Larry Blake (Ben Dawson), Pierre Watkin (Col. Wilson), Addison Richards (Everett Brock, Congessional Investigator), Louis J. Heydt (Gillian), Spencer Charters (Lucius), Charles Halton (Beldon); Runtime: 69; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Robert Sisk; RKO; 1939)
“Suspenseful espionage story.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Jack Hively(“Panama Lady”/”Street of Chance”/”Four Jacks and a Jill”) adequately helms this suspenseful espionage story. It’s based on a story by George Bricker & Lionel Houser, and is written by Jo Pagano and Michael Kanin. It stars Sally Eilers, a Mack Sennett’s discovery, who was once dubbed “the most beautiful girl in movies.” Her popularity was declining in the mid-thirties, so Sally now played character roles and starred in B- films.

Irene Eaton (Sally Eilers) quits her job and moves to Washington, D.C. after her Army lieutenant brother is killed by sabotage. Vowing to help catch the foreign spies who did the foul deed, she works for the government and signs on with Colonel Shaw (Frank M. Thomas), of Army Intelligence, to work undercover. At the Dome Cafe she meets the spy field chief, Dr. Krull (Fritz Leiber), who assigns her to work with the spy photographer Huntley (Allan Lane, played cowboy hero Red Ryder). Shaw encourages her to infiltrate the spy ring and locate its mystery mastermind.

Things become hairy when Shaw is abducted by the spy ring and faces death unless he reveals secret plans of the military. When he refuses to cooperate, he’s driven by the spies to be executed. Irene risks her life to help him escape, but that is just the beginning of some remarkable twists in the story. Eventually when the spy brain is disclosed and chased, he jumps to his death from the top of the Washington Monument.

REVIEWED ON 10/28/2014 GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”