Angry that police detective Steve McBride is giving preferential treatment to his fiancée, reporter Torchy Blane, reporters from a rival newspaper plan a fake murder with the idea that Torchy's paper will print the story and look foolish, teaching a lesson to Torchy and McBride. The tables are turned when the fake murder turns out to be the genuine article. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The third of nine "Torchy Blane" films released by Warner Brothers from 1937 to 1939. Glenda Farrell played Torchy in seven of the nine pictures. See more »
At the beginning of the film, Steve walks out to see the desk sergeant. Someone tries to throw confetti on him to celebrate his impending marriage to Torchy, but misses. When Steve initially talks to the desk sergeant, there is no strip of confetti on his right shoulder. Then in the next shot it appears. In subsequent shots it keeps changing position on his right shoulder until he goes to see the captain and it disappears. See more »
A leap of logic that will have you watching it twice
For what was considered a Warner Brothers B series, the Torchy Blane series was fantastic. Torchy (Glenda Farrell) is a reporter and spitfire engaged to police detective Steve McBride (Barton McLane) who is equally tough. They don't have traditionally romantic moments, but they are a great team for solving murders and have great chemistry. You can see them probably acting the same to each other the day before they are married, the day after, ten years later, twenty years later. They are tough people in tough jobs and they get one another. Should everybody be that lucky.
In this installment of the series, the reporters of the other papers are talking about how Torchy always scoops them because of her close association to McBride. So they decide to set up a fake murder, let Torchy report on it and have it go to press, and then reveal that the whole thing was a fake just to embarrass her. They get a ham actor (Harvey Hammond) to play the part of the corpse. They get an assistant at the coroner's office to pronounce death and probably cause of death - strangling, and then have other actors that they have hired to play the servants. Well the whole thing blows up in their face when it turns out Hammond actually HAS been strangled! So Torchy scoops the other reporters again because their hoax is a real murder.
Now to find out who did it. It turns out that there are any multitude of suspects, and that strangely enough that Hammond was a lady's man, although he had been married for twenty years and honestly he came across like a stuffed shirt and was not good looking at all. What was the attraction? Torchy solves this one, but she makes one leap of logic that you have to rewind to the beginning of the film to figure out HOW she figured it out. Several people persuade various suspects to falsely confess, and one of these false confessions outs the murderer.
You know, watching this fast paced entertaining film brings up a few questions. For one thing, why does Torchy think of doing standard investigative techniques that the cops should have thought of? Does Torchy REALLY want to get married? You can tell she loves McBride, but it is he that seems to be the sentimental one, and she always seems to be coming up with excuses as to why they need to wait. As she drives off at one point McBride is frantically waving at her, and when several other detectives think he is hailing them he seems suddenly embarrassed by this display of affection by "a tough guy" like himself.
Highly recommended if you like the B crime movies of the 30's and 40's. Oh, and Barton McLane and Glenda Farrell were so good together that outside of the Torchy Blane series they did "Prison Break" together for Universal in 1938.
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