Johnny runs away from Father O'Hara's orphanage and becomes a roller skating star with the help of Mary Reeves. He becomes involved with women, including Polly, who only love him because he... See full summary »
Escaping a Nazi prison train in war-torn Italy, an American and a British soldier set out for the Swiss border and find themselves leading a multi-national party of refugees for the Italian underground.
Even though the print I saw was ghastly (the titles were indecipherable) it was pretty clear that Tay Garnett was a great new directorial talent. He had started out as a writer on a couple of Harry Langdon features ("The Strong Man" and "Long Pants") and as a reward Pathe let him direct. He developed into a man's director and this movie, only his second, proved a showcase for the talents of Alan Hale, Clyde Cook and the menacing Fred Kohler.
Even though the titles I could make out seemed to be flip remarks and wisecracks, there were a lot I couldn't see and it did impede the narrative. Flash and "Perfesser" (Alan Hale and Clyde Cook), a couple of con men think they can evade the police by finding a job in the only cleanly run carnival in town - Cleo's (ravishing Renee Adoree). She is fighting hard to keep her carnival respectable and honest and Flash, being completely smitten with Cleo, vows to keep it that way - at first!! But old habits die hard and he and his mate are soon sucked into a scheme run by Red Moon (was there ever a more threatening villain than Fred Kohler) who fleeces unsuspecting customers by picking their pockets. When Flash sees the light and threatens to expose Red, he organises a payroll robbery where Flash will be blamed courtesy of a dropped cigarette lighter. "Perfesser" overhears but has to go on to do his high wire act before he can inform on them. Unfortunately he was seen and that is all the incentive the villains need to fix the "Perfesser" so he will talk no more!!
Renee Adoree must have been going through a career low as she definitely plays second fiddle to Alan Hale (this may have been his best role), Clyde Cook (who originally was an acrobat) and Fred Kohler, who made every scene count!!
Also the print I saw was about 75 minutes, not the 62 minutes mentioned.
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