Genial Irish NYC policeman Tom O'Hara is looking forward to the arrival of his wife and their young son, Shandy from Ireland. Several days before the ship is to dock, O'Hara gets a ...
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J. Farrell MacDonald
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Genial Irish NYC policeman Tom O'Hara is looking forward to the arrival of his wife and their young son, Shandy from Ireland. Several days before the ship is to dock, O'Hara gets a radiogram informing him that his wife has died at sea. That night a burglar breaks into the Antigue & Second Hand Shop ran by Sol Bloom, directly below O'Hara's flat. The burglar shoots O'Hara, who has rushed to his friend's aid, and, with his last breath he asks Sol to take care of Shandy. When Shandy arrives, Sol immediately makes him a member of the family, which also consists of a very mischievous motherless boy named Joey Bloom, whose pursuits consist of stealing oranges from fruit-dealer Tony, and playing hookey from school. Tom Varney, the young beat cop, is in love with Ruth Sneider, whose mother runs a Cleaning and Dyeling establishment. Ruth, however, is momentarily dazed with worthless Dave Haller, whose flashy clothes and snappy car indicates easy money. Shandy likes to visit Dave's apartment ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Jackie Searle Finds Rare Role as Little Mr. Fixit!!
During the 1920s Jean Hersholt created some memorable villains, none more so than the despicable Marcus in Von Stroheim's "Greed". But with sound Hersholt's thick Danish accent seemed more in keeping with doting fathers ("Transatlantic", "Crime of the Century") and suddenly he found a whole new career on the side of Good. With Sol Blum he found his niche - he is a kindly second hand goods trader who is finding it tough to keep his son, Joey, on the straight and narrow, especially since the death of his wife - "I'm doing my best but my best ain't good enough".
There is a wonderful neighbourly feeling as everyone looks out for their fellow man so when local police chief O'Hara (J. Farrell MacDonald) is killed in the line of duty, Sol takes on the responsibility of making a home for Shandy O'Hara (Jackie Searle, with a passable Irish accent - everything's "foine"!!) Jackie Searle had gained prominence with the nickname "the kid everybody wants to spank"
together he and Mitzi Green proved as a comedy team that brats had
more fun in films like "Finn and Hattie" and "Newly Rich" but on his own he was best remembered as the snitching Sidney in "Tom Sawyer" and the pupil who makes John Barrymore's life hell in "Topaze". He could also play regular kids ie in "High Gear" and the very sentimental "Hearts of Humanity".
There are a myriad of plots going on in this movie as well. Ruth Sneider (scrumptious Claudia Dell) can't decide between hard working cop Tom (Charles Delaney) or dapper Dave. Dave seems to have the best of everything but when he unwittingly takes Shandy for a joyride the reason is clear - he is running a small boot leg operation from his apartment. He swears Shandy to secrecy and fobs off the bottles as furniture polish that he doesn't want his competitor to know about. That plot line is cleared up quickly but Joey's misdemeanours are a full time job. He steals from his father's till and his latest fracas with the fruit and vegetable man will see him in Juvenile Hall unless someone can come up with $10 for the damages bill. Joey has already convinced Shandy to hock his harp for $1!!! to repay the till and now Sol confesses he has entered him in a children's amateur night competition, playing his harp - first prize $10!! But Shandy's harp has already been sold - what will he do!!
The movie is only about 60 minutes but that is still enough time for Shandy to turn thief and at the last minute be pulled back from the brink of pneumonia by a repentant Joey. Claudia Dell was beautiful and could sing up a storm but she started out at the tail end of the early musical cycle and her films ("Big Boy", "Fifty Million Frenchmen") were not the sort guaranteed to make studio execs. sit up and take notice. Unfortunately by the time of "Hearts of Humanity" she was already a poverty row familiar.
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