AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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T-Men
Director: Anthony Mann (Dir)
Release Date:   10 Jan 1948
Premiere Information:   World premiere in Los Angeles: 25 Dec 1947
Production Date:   early Jul--late Aug 1947
Duration (in mins):   92
Duration (in feet):   8,326
Duration (in reels):   10
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Cast:   Dennis O'Keefe (Dennis O'Brien, also known as Vannie Harrigan)  
    Mary Meade (Evangeline)  
    Alfred Ryder (Tony Genaro, also known as Tony Galvani)  
    Wally Ford (The schemer)  
    June Lockhart (Mary Genaro)  
    Charles McGraw (Moxie)  
    Jane Randolph (Diana Simpson)  
    Art Smith (Gregg)  
    Herbert Heyes (Chief Carson)  
    Jack Overman (Brownie)  
    John Wengraf (Shiv Triano)  
    Jim Bannon (Lindsay)  
    William Malten (Paul Miller)  
    Vivian Austin (Genevieve)  
    James Seay (Hardy)  
    John Newland (Jackson Lee)  
    Tito Vuolo (Pasquale)  
    John Parrish (Agent)  
    Lyle Latell (Agent)  
    Curt Conway (Shorty)  
    Ricki Van Dusen (Girl on plane)  
    Irmgard Dawson (Hostess on plane)  
    Robert Williams (Detective captain)  
    Anton Kosta (Carlo Vantucci)  
    Paul Fierro (Chops)  
    Louis Bacigalupi (Boxcar)  
    Trevor Bardette (Rudy)  
    William Yip (Chinese merchant)  
    Al Bridge (Agent in phone booth)  
    Keefe Brasselle (Clerk)  
    Jerry Jerome (Dice player)  
    Bernie Sell (Dice player)  
    Ralph Brooks (Dice player)  
    John Ardell (Dice player)  
    Cuca Martinez (Dancer in club)  
    Salvadore Barroga (Filipino houseboy)  
    Frank Ferguson (Secret Service man)  
    Cecil Weston (Stall proprietor)  
    George Carleton (Morgue attendant)  
    Gayne Whitman (Narrator)  
    Les Sketchley    
    George M. Manning    
    Paul Hogan    
    Victor Cutler    
    Sandra Gould    
    Tom McGuire    
    Mira McKinney    
    Frank Hyers    

Summary: In Los Angeles, an informant who has promised to turn over a sample of the paper being used by a counterfeiting ring to a U.S. Treasury agent is killed. Later, in Washington, Treasury Department chief Carson assigns Dennis O'Brien and Anthony Genaro to infiltrate the gang through connections in Detroit. O'Brien and Genaro assume the names Vannie Harrigan and Tony Galvani, respectively, and create personal background histories to support their new identities. After the Detroit police cooperate by identifying them as robbery suspects, the agents contact with local crime boss Carlo Vantucci, who runs a produce market as a front. Vantucci checks them out and hires them to work in his counterfeit liquor stamps racket, where they soon discover the name of the mob's Los Angeles connection, The Schemer. After Dennis leaves for Los Angeles, Vantucci roughs up Tony, but Tony covers for his fellow agent. A long, laborious search through Los Angeles pays off when Dennis locates The Schemer in a bath house. Dennis then contacts local Treasury chief Gregg, who supplies him with some counterfeit bank notes, and follows The Schemer to a hotel, where they both become involved in an illegal dice game. Dennis passes a counterfeit bill, which The Schemer immediately recognizes and offers to supply him with better paper if he will provide the engraving plates. After Dennis follows The Schemer to the Club Trinidad near Pacific Ocean Park, The Schemer makes contact with a club photographer, who takes the phony bill to her boss, Paul Miller, at a photo lab. When The Schemer finds out that Dennis has been following him, he has him mugged by two of his men, Moxie and Brownie, who later take him to The Schemer's boss, Shiv Triano. As they play pool, Dennis suggests a partnership to Triano. Later, Triano checks out Dennis with Vantucci, who also sends Tony to Los Angeles. Dennis sends a sample of the paper to the Treasury Department's lab in Washington and learns that it may have been made in China. After Dennis delivers one of the engraving plates, to Triano, he makes a deal to deliver the other when he meets Triano's boss, the mastermind of the whole organization. Dennis and Tony then try to set up The Schemer, who reveals to them that he has written down, in code, all the activities of the local "Mr. Big." While Tony and The Schemer are shopping at the Farmer's Market, Tony is recognized by a friend of his wife, Mary, who is accompanying her on a visit from San Francisco. Mary, suddenly realizing that she must not reveal their relationship and identity in front of a stranger, declares to her friend that she is mistaken about Tony being her husband and leaves. The boss, meanwhile, has arrived on a ship from China and Dennis meets with his second-in-command, Diana Simpson. Lacking confidence in The Schemer, Diana orders Moxie to eliminate him, but before Moxie kills him in a steam bath, The Schemer tells him that Tony has been trying to make phone calls to San Francisco. After Triano has his people in San Francisco check on Mary, he tells Dennis that his friend is a Treasury agent. Just as Tony locates The Schemer's notebook, Triano shoots him in front of Dennis and Tony dies without implicating him. Los Angeles agents then gain possession of the notebook, and the simple code is broken, revealing details of profits from gambling, liquor and counterfeiting activities. Dennis is warned that the Department has discovered that Miller, the gang's engraver, can identify the source of the face plate as he worked with the man who made it. Dennis is advised to abandon the case but persists, and although the boss rejects the plate for some reason, Dennis insists that they bring Miller to the tanker. There Miller claims not to recognize the plate but privately tells Dennis that he does, then realizes that Dennis is a Treasury agent and offers to turn government witness. However, their talk is overheard by Moxie, who kills Miller. Dennis takes Miller's gun and, after a chase during which he is wounded, kills Moxie. The police arrive in force and swarm over the ship, finally arresting the ringleader, whose associates in Detroit and Shanghai are also picked up. Dennis recovers and Mary Genaro carries in her heart the memory of her husband who died in the service of his country. 

Production Company: Edward Small Productions, Inc.  
Production Text: Bryan Foy in charge of production
Brand Name: A Reliance Picture
Distribution Company: Eagle-Lion Films, Inc. (Pathé Industries, Inc.)
Director: Anthony Mann (Dir)
  Howard W. Koch (Asst dir)
  Stewart Stern (Dial dir)
Producer: Edward Small (Pres)
  Aubrey Schenck (Prod)
  Turner Shelton (Assoc prod)
Writer: John C. Higgins (Wrt)
  Virginia Kellogg (Suggested by a story by)
Photography: John Alton (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Edward C. Jewell (Art dir)
  Jack R. Rabin (Special art eff)
Film Editor: Alfred De Gaetano (Ed supv)
  Fred Allen (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Armor Marlowe (Set dec)
Costumes: France Ehren (Cost supv)
Music: Paul Sawtell (Mus score)
  Emil Cadkin (Orch)
  Irving Friedman (Mus dir)
Sound: Leon Becker (Sd dir)
  Frank McWhorter (Sd mixer)
Special Effects: George J. Teague (Photog eff)
Make Up: Ern Westmore (Makeup)
  Joe Stinton (Makeup)
  Joan St. Oegger (Hairstylist)
  Alma Armstrong (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Elmer Lincoln Irey (Tech adv)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Pathé Industries, Inc. 10/1/1948 dd/mm/yyyy LP1455

PCA NO: 12694
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Drama
Sub-Genre: Crime
 
Subjects (Major): Counterfeiters and counterfeiting
  Murder
  Self-sacrifice
  Undercover operations
  United States. Treasury Department
 
Subjects (Minor): Detroit (MI)
  Dice
  Docks
  Engravers
  Gangsters
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Los Angeles (CA)--Farmers Market
  Muggers
  Nightclubs
  Patriotism
  Photographers
  Police
  Pool (Game)
  San Pedro (CA)
  Steam rooms
  Washington (D.C.)

Note: The film's working title was T-Man . The following title appears after Anthony Mann's credit: "The United States currency and the credentials of the Treasury Department shown in this film were photographed by special permission of the Secretary of the Treasury. Further reproduction of said currency or credentials in whole or part is strictly prohibited." The film is then introduced by Elmer Lincoln Irey, the retired chief coordinator of the Treasury Department's police units. According to an Oct 1947 NYT article, T-Men was the first film to be based on actual Treasury Dept. Law Enforcement files.
       Associate producer Turner B. Shelton was a former aide in the Treasury Dept., according to HR . The HR also reported that the film was shot mostly on location in Detroit, New York, Washington, Boston, San Pedro and Wilmington (CA). A pre-production LAT news item claimed that the original story had been written by Henry Blankfort, not credited writer Virgina Kellogg. In Feb 1948, Life Magazine reported that the film had been made for a "slim $450,000." T-Men received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Recording. A radio adaptation of the film was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on 23 Feb 1948 and starred Dennis O'Keefe and Gail Patrick. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   20 Dec 1947.   
Hollywood Reporter   11 Jul 47   p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Jul 47   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   22 Jul 47   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Dec 47   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   27 Jan 48   p. 6.
Independent Film Journal   5 Jul 47   p. 36.
Los Angeles Times   3 Jun 1947.   
Los Angeles Times   25 Dec 1947.   
Life   23 Feb 48   p. 135.
New York Times   26 Oct 1947.   
New York Times   23 Jan 48   p. 28.
Variety   17 Dec 47   p. 8.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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