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W.S. Van Dyke
Vivian, Ed and Harry steal jewels in Paris. In New York government agent McBride accompanies Vivian riding across the country with the loot. She falls in love with him and gives up crime; he finds the stash and arrests her. Rival crooks Doc and Steve, who had already stolen the stolen jewels once, attempt to take them once again. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Great actors stuck in an all too familiar and contrived plot...
Myrna Loy plays against type in this film, as she's a high-class thief working with a gang of jewel thieves. However, the law knows who these folks are and decide to infiltrate them with one of their agents (Spencer Tracy). To do this, Tracy poses as a crook himself and they stage a fight between him and a detective--right in front of Loy. When Tracy makes his getaway, Loy joins him and helps. However, she is NOT taken in by this ruse--and she soon lets her gang know about this staged event.
If you have seen many westerns, you have undoubtedly seen this plot before---many times. I have seen films with Tim McCoy, Roy Rogers, Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott and others--all with the same basic plot! It's all the same down deep--with the hero staging a jailbreak or supposedly committing a crime right in front of gang members. There also is the angle about having the pair stay with a nice country family that leads to the crook vowing to change her ways (copied right from "Hide-Out" which MGM made the year before). It's all very, very familiar AND quite contrived. It's a shame they reused this old plot, as Tracy and Loy were wonderful actors and deserved something better--something FRESHER. Now this is not to say it's a terrible film--with Loy and Tracy, it really couldn't be all that bad and the ending was great--very tense. But you can clearly see why this is not among their more famous films. A decent time-passer and unfortunately nothing more--and it should have been.
By the way, I agree with one of the reviewers that John Qualen's performance as a simple farmer. Unlike many of his films where he puts on a THICK Scandinavian accent, here he underplays the role more--and it worked well.
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