SECRET SERVICE OF THE AIR. Warner Brothers, 1939. Brass Bancroft #1. Ronald Reagan, John Litel, Ila Rhodes, James Stephenson, Eddie Foy Jr., Rosella Towne. Director: Noel M. Smith.

   I really can’t imagine that anyone who went to see this movie in 1939 could have possibly come away from it saying to his wife or her husband, as the case may be, that that guy’s got what it takes to be President someday! But what they definitely would have gotten was a good look at an amiable, good-looking actor with a lot of personal appeal if not necessarily a wide range of acting ability.

   Although only a small budget affair from Warners, the movie itself did so well that three more in a follow-up series were made. I’ve listed two women in the cast, but you can forget about them, even though one of them plays Brass’s fiancĂ©e, showing up only at the beginning and once again right at the end.

   In between this is a guys’ story only, one dealing with a tough gang of hoodlums actively smuggling people across the border by plane into California. (How tough are they? Watch this movie and you’ll find out.)

   As for Brass Bancroft, he’s a pilot recruited by the secret Service to go undercover and find out who he Big Boss is. To this end he is framed on a counterfeiting rap and sentenced to a term in prison. Our star of course does this standing on his head. Figuratively speaking, of course. And in spite of his longtime sidekick’s attempt to help (Eddie Foy, Jr.), he’s pretty good at catching bad guys, too.

   Don’t expect too much from this one, as it doesn’t have a lot to give, but you may find this one as much fun to watch as I did.