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Holt of the Secret Service

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Holt of the Secret Service
Directed byJames W. Horne
Screenplay byBasil Dickey
George H. Plympton
(as George Plympton)
Wyndham Gittens
Produced byLarry Darmour
StarringJack Holt
Evelyn Brent
Narrated byKnox Manning
CinematographyJames S. Brown Jr.
Edited byDwight Caldwell
Earl Turner
Music byLee Zahler
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • November 21, 1941 (1941-11-21)
Running time
278 minutes
(15 episodes)
CountryUnited States
Holt of the Secret Service, Part 1: Chaotic Creek
Holt of the Secret Service, Part 1: Chaotic Creek

Holt of the Secret Service (1941) was the 16th serial released by Columbia Pictures.


A murderous gang of counterfeiters has kidnapped John Severn, the U.S. government's best engraver, who is being held against his will and is forced to print virtually undetectable phony cash. The United States Secret Service sends its toughest agent, Jack Holt, and his female partner, Kay Drew, after the gang. Holt and his boss Malloy decide to try to pass Holt off as escaped tough guy, Nick Farrel. Masquerading as the bickering Mr. and Mrs. Farrel, Holt and Drew manage to infiltrate the ruthless gang of thugs and the tough talk and action never stops from there on. Holt's hunches lead him to the culprits and into trouble on a canoe ride and in an outlaw camp, as the action moves from the gang's hideout in a lost canyon to a gambling ship on the high seas to a small island country where the gang hopes to escape U.S. extradition.

The brains heavy is a man named Lucky Arnold but he hides behind the facade of one of his loyal henchmen, Quist, to shield himself from the Secret Service, and lets another one of his men, Valden, do most of his dirty work. The island nation has its own pocket dictator who is also trying to rub out our hero. During the 15 episodes, Holt endures numerous brushes with death, emerging from all of them with nary a hair out of place nor a crease in his well-tailored business suit.


Chapter titles

Jack Holt in scene from the serial
Jack Holt in scene from the serial
  1. Chaotic Creek
  2. Ramparts of Revenge
  3. Illicit Wealth
  4. Menaced by Fate
  5. Exits to Terror
  6. Deadly Doom
  7. Out of the Past
  8. Escape to Peril
  9. Sealed in Silence
  10. Named to Die
  11. Ominous Warnings
  12. The Stolen Signal
  13. Prison of Jeopardy
  14. Afire Afloat
  15. Yielded Hostage


In this serial, Jack Holt strictly played himself with all the gimmicks he had used at silent and talkie movies still very much in evidence. Producer Larry Darmour felt the serial was made for adults and not children by making it thrilling and logical but never impossible. He also felt that this was the first film with the lead actor's name in the title.[1]


  1. ^ p.108 Kerr, Lynn & King, James Evelyn Brent: The Life and Films of Hollywood's Lady Crook McFarland


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Holt of the Secret Service
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