Ambush (1939 film)

Ambush is a 1939 American drama film directed by Kurt Neumann and written by Laura Perelman and S. J. Perelman. The film stars Gladys Swarthout, Lloyd Nolan, William "Bill" Henry, William Frawley, Ernest Truex and Broderick Crawford.[1][2] The film was released on January 20, 1939 by Paramount Pictures.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byKurt Neumann
Screenplay byLaura Perelman
S. J. Perelman
Story byRobert Ray
StarringGladys Swarthout
Lloyd Nolan
William "Bill" Henry
William Frawley
Ernest Truex
Broderick Crawford
Music byGerard Carbonara
Floyd Morgan
CinematographyWilliam C. Mellor
Edited byStuart Gilmore
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • January 20, 1939 (1939-01-20)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States


Charlie Hartman is part of a gang bossed by a criminal named Gibbs that pulls off a daring robbery in broad daylight. Charlie's honest sister Jane ends up being taken hostage but manages to convey her dire need for help to a truck driver, Tony Andrews.

Tony attempts to help save Jane and, if possible, her brother as well. Pretending to help Gibbs and the thieves, he leaves clues for the police to follow. One of the crooks, Blue, is killed, after which another, Randall, attempts to escape after Charlie's guilty conscience causes a change of heart. Tony is able to free Jane from the clutches of Gibbs, after which he and Jane collect the reward and begin to plan a new life together.


Other uncredited cast members (alphabetically)


Ambush is one of five film produced by Paramount in the 1930s featuring Gladys Swarthout, a very popular Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano. The studio was attempting to build on the popularity of Grace Moore, another opera singer, who had also expanded her talents into films.[3]

See also


  1. "Ambush (1939) - Overview". Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  2. Nugent, Frank S. (1939-02-09). "Movie Review - Ambush - THE SCREEN; 'Boy Slaves,' a Melodrama of Peonage, Opens at the Rialto-'St. Louis Blues" and 'Ambush' Shown". Retrieved 2015-08-03.
  3. "Champagne Waltz (Paramount)". Time magazine. January 25, 1937. Retrieved 2013-12-21. The perennial and expensive effort to make a Grace Moore out of Gladys Swarthout seemed to have more logic some time ago when Miss Moore was a more important box-office draw.

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