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Special Agent (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 14 September 1935 (USA)
Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters ... See full summary »


William Keighley


Laird Doyle (screen play), Abem Finkel (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Bette Davis ... Julie Gardner
George Brent ... Bill Bradford
Ricardo Cortez ... Alexander Carston
Jack La Rue ... Jake Andrews (as Jack LaRue)
Henry O'Neill ... District Attorney Roger Quinn
Robert Strange ... Alec 'Waxy' Armitage
Joseph Crehan ... Police Commissioner
J. Carrol Naish ... Joe Durell (as J. Carroll Naish)
Joe Sawyer ... Ned Rich (as Joseph Sauers)
William B. Davidson ... Charlie Young (as William Davidson)
Robert Barrat ... Chief of Internal Revenue Service
Paul Guilfoyle ... Williams
Joe King ... Agent Wilson (as Joseph King)
Irving Pichel ... U.S. District Attorney


Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters Carston's organization and Julie cooperates with him to land Carston in jail. An informer squeals on them. Julie is kidnapped by Carston's henchmen as she is about to testify. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>, A. Nonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Again the producers of "G-Men streak sensation across the screen!


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 September 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Agent specjalny See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The Hays office objected to a bit of dialogue by character Nick Carston so rather than reshoot the scene, the sound was eliminated. See more »


At the castle when one of the law enforcement agents kills the gangster Rich with a machine gun; the entrance door is riddled with heavy gunfire and the bullets penetrate the door. However directly on the other side of the door are other agents and therefore they should have also been struck by gunfire but when they busted through the door immediately thereafter no agent was hit by bullets or shrapnel from the door. See more »


Remade as Gambling on the High Seas (1940) See more »


Cheerful Little Earful
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as background music at the casino
See more »

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User Reviews

Bette's own code
21 January 2016 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The only thing about Special Agent worth remembering is that for Bette Davis it was the film that she did immediately prior to her first Oscar winner Dangerous. Other than that it was the kind of potboiler programmer that Warner Brothers kept casting her in despite acclaim she got for a few films like Of Human Bondage.

At least she got her favorite leading man in Special Agent and in the title role. George Brent has the perfect cover for being a Special Agent for the Treasury Department. He's a reporter which means he can go places see things and ask questions and no one suspects. Least of all gambler/racketeer Ricardo Cortez who Brent has been working on for years to take down.

Of course this film was done with the successful prosecution of Al Capone in the mind of the movie-going public. Davis keeps Cortez's books and Brent is keeping company with her. Here the story is rather vague. Did he like her before or after he learned she was keeper of the records in her own code so even Cortez can't decipher it. His convincing Bette to turn on Cortez wasn't really convincing to me.

Coming off best in this film is Ricardo Cortez. He is one shrewd article who has his fingers everywhere, it's why no one's caught him till now and Brent nearly doesn't get him this time.

Special Agent did Bette Davis and George Brent no harm and great things were in the offing for Bette Davis.

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