Undercover Maisie

Undercover Maisie is a 1947 American comedy film directed by Harry Beaumont and starring Ann Sothern, Barry Nelson, and Mark Daniels. It was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the final film of the ten film Maisie series starring Ann Sothern as ex-showgirl Maisie Ravier. In this series entry, Maisie Ravier decides to join the Los Angeles police force. The previous film was Up Goes Maisie.

Undercover Maisie
Theatrical film poster
Directed byHarry Beaumont
Produced byGeorge Haight
Written byThelma Robinson
StarringAnn Sothern
Barry Nelson
Mark Daniels
Music byDavid Snell
CinematographyCharles Salerno Jr.
Edited byBen Lewis
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • March 1, 1947 (1947-03-01)
Running time
90 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,024,000[1]


Maisie Ravier (Ann Sothern) is moving from Los Angeles to begin a job selling bubble baths in New York. When she is about to go on a train across the country at the station, she bumps into kindly Mrs. Andrew Lorrison (Nella Walker). Mrs. Lorrison offers to drive Maisie to New York, as her husband, in New York already, needs the family car. Maisie accepts. Mrs. Lorrison also tells Maisie that her husband built a secret compartment in the car into which they should place all their valuables just in case they are held up along the way. Maisie places all her jewelry and her wallet into the compartment. After only a short drive, they pull off at a gas stop. Maisie goes inside the diner to pick up some food, and Mrs. Lorrison says she will get some gas in the interim. While Maisie is inside the diner, Mrs. Lorrison, really a grifter, takes off with Maisie's bags, her wallet and her jewelry, leaving Maisie stranded. When Maisie accurately and thoroughly describes Mrs. Lorrison to the police, Lieutenant Paul Scott (Barry Nelson) from the Los Angeles Police Department's bunco squad is very impressed at her observation skills. He believes Maisie would be a great asset to the squad because of her observation skills and the fact that most con artists would not suspect someone like her of being a police officer. Paul convinces his boss, Captain Mead (Charles D. Brown), to place Maisie in police training as he wants to use Maisie as an undercover agent to solve some of their unsolved frauds around the city.

Mead sends Maisie to the police academy training program and after that she joins the force as the only female police officer in the entire department. Because of this, there is some commotion at the station, the other male officers having a hard time focusing on their tasks with a beautiful woman around.

Because of the distraction Maisie creates for all the others at the police academy, Paul instead gives her a private teacher, Chip Dolan (Mark Daniels), a young officer who used to be in bunco but was demoted after an on the job error he made. Chip longs to get back into bunco. Chip is in charge of the physical aspects of Maisie's training. Despite Paul's outwardly cool demeanor toward Maisie, both Paul and Chip are attracted to Maisie, and do whatever required to gain the upper hand in their respective courtships. They are both in charge of teaching her different aspects of being an undercover agent.

When the training is complete, Maisie is sent on her first mission, regarding a young woman, Viola Trengham (Meg Randall), whose mother has been swindled by a con artist called Amor. He is really a real-estate swindler posing as a psychic and his real name is Willis Farnes (Leon Ames). To catch Amor, Maisie goes undercover as a wealthy woman who needs advice from a fortune teller on how to invest her vast fortune. Farnes sees the potential gain and fakes a trance where he tells Maisie to jump on the very first investment offer she gets. After the reading session, Maisie "accidentally" runs into real estate broker Gilfred I. Rogers (Dick Simmons), who is really Farnes' accomplice. Rogers find some property for Maisie to buy, she who is to make a down payment of $20,000. Maisie pretends to go along with this deal and they go to her apartment to consolidate the deal.

Unfortunately, Maisie inadvertently reveals her true identity to Rogers without her knowledge. As such, Rogers tells her that he is really an undercover detective who was sent by Paul to ensure that she is doing her job properly. After Rogers is able to escape, he tells Farnes in turn. Farnes takes precautions and decides to move his racketeering operation outside of the city after the next scam. When Maisie returns to the station, she learns from Captain Mead that she has been had. Feeling like she has to redeem herself as a police officer, Maisie tries to figure out a way to find Rogers. Maisie finds some documents left behind by Rogers in her apartment, and among them is an invitation to an event that same night, which Farnes is hosting.

Maisie goes to the event to investigate further on her own, and discovers that they are bilking several military men and their wives in a real estate scam. Maisie is discovered by Farnes, who recognizes her. She is bound and gagged by him and his goons, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Canford (Clinton Sundberg and Gloria Holden), and taken to their hideout. Farnes detests violence, and as usual plans to release Maisie after they are able to abscond with the money. However, the Canfords believe there is no way they can let Maisie live. Since they will kill her, they figure they may as well kill Farnes as well. Among the dirty dishes on which her food is on, Maisie is able to get a secret message out of the hideout regarding where she is. Before Paul and the police arrive at the hideout, Farnes and the Canfords have already left, they who are transporting Maisie to another location in Long Beach. However, on the way there, the Canfords knock Farnes out, and decide to kill and dump Maisie by the side of the road. However, Maisie manages to leave a clue along the road, leading the Paul and the police in pursuit on the right track. When Paul and the police arrive at the site where the Canfords planned to kill Maisie, they find that Maisie, using her police self-defense training, was able to subdue the Canfords. Paul, relieved and seeing what Maisie has done, states that their marriage and honeymoon will be an interesting one. They embrace, as the Canfords and Farnes are captured.[2]



The film earned $779,000 in the US and Canada and $245,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $142,000.[1]


  1. The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/479/Undercover-Maisie/
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