|Index||2 reviews in total|
A moderately funny crime comedy I found pretty satisfying, mostly from seeing Ginger Rogers in such an early role. The stars, however, are Eddie Quillan and Robert Armstrong, both billed above the title, with Quillan playing a radio repairman and Armstrong playing a boxer with an upcoming middleweight championship fight. Seeing Eddie Quillan billed first surprised me, since I never knew he attained that measure of stardom. But he does have a good rapport with the camera and I enjoyed his performance. Although my focus was on Rogers, playing Armstrong's sweetie and a flirt, the film's focus was on Quillan. This performance provides the suspense and drama which is sustained nicely through the last half of the film. All in all, the movie is somewhat enjoyable.
This is a solid little gangster film with various ingredients you've
probably seen before, but it's still lots of fun, mainly because the
central player is not a gangster, but an accidental participant who is
leading an ordinary life until extraordinary circumstances cause him to
rise to the occasion.
Tommy Jordan (Eddie Quillan) is a radio repairman that gets a call to repair a radio owned by a boxer in hiding, Kayo McClure (Robert Armstrong). The boxer is hiding from gangster Nick Vatelli, who wants Kayo to fight for him, or else. The gangster and his henchmen burst in on Kayo while Tommy is in another room of the apartment. Seeing that there's about to be trouble, Tommy uses an old radio trick to make the gangster think he's surrounded by the police, and the gang leaves peaceably. This ingenious rescue makes Kayo instant friends with young Tommy, and Kayo promises Tommy a favor if he ever needs one. That favor is soon needed, because Tommy becomes friendly with a girl at a dance (Joan Peers) who turns out to be the object of gangster Vatelli's affection, although she does not return the sentiment. Now young Tommy has two black marks against him in Vatelli's book - making him look foolish at Kayo's apartment, and now going after someone he considers to be his girl.
This sounds like it could be heavy stuff, but by the placing of comic bits in the film at strategic points, and also due to the fact that actor Ralf Harolde's Nick Vatelli comes across as more of an angry little weasel than someone actually capable of James Cagney-style mayhem, there isn't an excess of tension in this one - it's more of a fun romp. Only when Vatelli has his muscle men to back him up does he seem the least bit threatening. The comedy is really helped along by a very young Ginger Rogers as Kayo's girl who looks gorgeous here and really has some great lines. Robert Armstrong was a versatile actor of the early talkie era, playing the kind of hard-boiled yet likable mugs in the early 1930's that make him very comparable to Wallace Beery. Armstrong and Rogers have great chemistry in this one as two people who really love each other and yet wouldn't know how to behave if they didn't have some kind of argument going.
If you like good little action/comedy/romance films from the precode era, this one is worth a look if you can deal with the fact that the vast majority of players in this one will likely be unfamiliar to you.
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