Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt(1939).

The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt(1939). Cast: Warren William, Ida Lupino, Rita Hayworth and Virginia Weidler. Directed by Peter Godfrey.

Ex-jewel thief Michael Lanyard, AKA The Lone Wolf, is taken by force to see Spiro, the leader of an espionage ring, who offers to pay him $10,000 to steal the plans for the new anti-aircraft gun. Lanyard, turns down the job and quickly leaves, but not before Spiro steals his cigarettes.

The following day, the War Department safe is robbed and Lanyard's half-smoked cigarettes are found at the scene of the crime. Inspector Thomas, suspects the former jewel thief of the crime and goes looking for him. After talking with the inspector, Lanyard leaves for a cocktail party with Val Carson, the senator's daughter.

Soon after arriving at the bar, Lanyard is lured to Spiro's house, where he is informed that the spies made off with only half of the plans and that they want him to get the remaining plans. Lanyard goes to the inventors house, where he finds the real plans in the safe.

Lanyard, turns the real plans over to Val's father and goes to Spiro's house to get the rest of the plans. Karen, tries to buy the secret plans from Lanyard. Lanyard's daughter Patricia, playing detective, hides in her car. While trailing Spiro, Lanyard is recaptured, but is saved by Patricia, who creates a diversion by stealing the plans. Will the police arrive in time to arrest the spies.

This is the first film I've seen of The Lone Wolf series. Ida Lupino, is very charming who plays a woman who keeps hoping the Wolf will marry her.. Rita Hayworth, as always makes a wonderful femme fatale.

Warren William (December 2, 1894 – September 24, 1948), was nicknamed the "king of Pre-Code". After moving from Broadway to Hollywood in 1931, he reached his peak as a leading man in early 1930s pre-Production Code films. He was a contract player at the Warner Bros. studio and was known for playing heartless types, including the Sam Spade character in the second filming of, The Maltese Falcon, called Satan Met a Lady (1936).

He also played roles, such as, Imitation of Life, in which he played Claudette Colbert's love interest. He also performed as her love interest in the film, Cleopatra. And he was the swashbuckle in, The Man in the Iron Mask(1939).

William was the first to play Erle Stanley a fictional defense attorney Perry Mason on the big screen and starred in four, Perry Mason mysteries. He also played Raffles-like reformed jewel thief in the, The Lone Wolf, beginning with, The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt (1939) with Ida Lupino and Rita Hayworth and he starred as detective Philo Vance in two films in that series, 1934's The Dragon Murder Case and 1939's The Gracie Allen Murder Case.


  1. "The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt" has a good cast and is an interesting start to the series. However, once Eric Blore comes on board as Jamieson and they ditch the daughter and love interest, the movies are much more fun. I hope you can catch up with the series someday.

  2. Dawn,
    I have to admit that I wasn't familiar with WW until reading Cliff's blog then discussing WW's films with him via Twitter. Then Cliff gave me a few of his films and the dates they would air.
    Spy Hunt was one that I caught on TCM along with Cleopatra with Claudette.

    I'm now a WW fan and I can't help but think of John Barrymore when I see his profile and certain photos. Do you see the resemblance?

    As for your review. It was a fun read and Ida didn't even get on my nerves! (She does at times) I haven't seen Dragon Murder Case yet. Have you seen it and if so was it as good as Spy Hunt?

    I hope you're having a great weekend. (Oh I commented about Betty Boop over at Becky's place for you)

  3. Caftan Woman, Thank you, I will write up the reviews after I finish watching the rest of the series..

    Page, I totally agree.. WW does remind me John Barrymore. I have to admit at first I thought it was, John Barrymore.

    So far.. Spy Hunt,is the only one in the series, that I have seen.

    Thank you for the shout-out.. I will check it out.. I'm having a wonderful weekend.. I hope that you are too. :)

  4. This was a great series when Warren William was the star. I taped some of these when TCM included them in its Saturday Morning lineup. I also agree that Willam could channel John Barrymore quite well! William died too soon!

  5. Gilby, I can not wait to see the rest of the series.. WW, is a great actor.

  6. Dawn, I've seen THE LONE WOLF'S SPY HUNT and the Philo Vance mystery THE DRAGON MURDER CASE on TCM, as well as SATAN MET A LADY, Warren William's underrated (IMO) comedy version of THE MALTESE FALCON. I must admit I found myself getting them all! I really enjoyed your review of ...SPY HUNT, and I'll keep an eye on the TCM Now Playing Guide to catch up with other films in the series.

  7. Dorian TB, I'm a new WW fan and I can not wait to see more of his films..


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