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Back in Circulation (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Mystery, Drama | 25 September 1937 (USA)
Morning Express ace reporter 'Timmy' Blake uses her wiles and charms to get the scoop on rival papers, and keep her editor happy. When the Express gets a tip that a wealthy old man was ... See full summary »



(screen play), (from a story by: Cosmopolitan Magazine)


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Complete credited cast:
Eddie Acuff ...
Craig Reynolds ...
Mac (as George Stone)
Walter Byron ...
Sam Sherman
Raymond Brown ...
Attorney Bottsford
Gordon Hart ...
Dr. Hanley
Granville Bates ...
Dr. Evans
Herbert Rawlinson ...
District Attorney Saunders
Spencer Charters ...
The Sheriff


Morning Express ace reporter 'Timmy' Blake uses her wiles and charms to get the scoop on rival papers, and keep her editor happy. When the Express gets a tip that a wealthy old man was poisoned and 'Timmy' spots the young widow in a nightclub only a day later, she descends on the town where the death took place to dig out the facts. When her reporting results in the arrest of the young widow, 'Timmy' continues to dig, since she isn't quite convinced that the facts she reported cover all the angles. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Mystery | Drama






Release Date:

25 September 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Angle Shooter  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening train wreck was done using pre-WWII O gauge Lionel trains And 1:48 scale signals. See more »


In the close-up of an article by 'Timmy' Blake of the trial, the first two paragraphs are about the trial and Arline Wade. The following paragraphs are about other subjects entirely. See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent Joan Blondell film!
27 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is in many ways typical of the comedy/drama/love story/mystery/social message low budget very entertaining movies that Warner Brothers so excelled at in the 1930's. Having been done before in some variation as The Front Page, Front Page Woman, and One Fatal Hour, 1937's Back In Circulation is equally entertaining. Most notably due to the delightful Joan Blondell, a very engaging and effective actor. Her wonderful performance in Back in Circulation makes this one of my favorite movies from this era.

Like all of the other incarnations of this basic premise, this screenplay has its own unique set of characters and circumstances. Joan Blondell plays "Timmy" Blake, the star reporter for The Morning Express, who is possessed of an utterly inexplicable crush on her boss, Bill Morgan (Pat O'Brien), your basic jerk, and we are told that she has in the past gone to great lengths to get the scoop, including stealing evidence and committing perjury. During the course of our story, however, her conscience begins to catch up to her when she finds herself convinced of the innocence of wealthy Arline Wade (Margaret Lindsay), a woman accused of murder that is all but convicted in the pages of The Morning Express. Naturally it is Timmy's cleverness and resourcefulness that gets the story in the Express in the first place, and it is she who must solve the mystery in order to extricate Ms. Wade from a miscarriage of justice. This is all done with appropriately placed poignancy and lighthearted comedic overtones. Timmy belting a sleazebag gigolo unconscious with her perfect right hook ("Beg pardon?") and her screaming "fit" in the street during the scene that leads us into the movie's conclusion are particularly hysterical.

Yes, the story is full of laughably implausible peculiarities (it is obvious movie producers of that era did not consider their audiences as savvy as those of today). On what planet would a struggling reporter living in a two-room apartment be able to afford a closet full of designer gowns and a maid?! These were real reporters, mind you, not the pampered addle-brained news spokes-models of today. It is likewise ridiculous to imagine that a reporter armed with nothing more than an anonymous note (another plot hole, we never are told where this note originated) could walk into a coroner's office and have a burial stopped and demand an autopsy be performed. It's a testament to how entertaining this film is that you don't really notice this sort of thing until after the movie is over and you've had time to think about it.

I am unsure how Pat O'Brien scored top billing in this vehicle, as it would be lost without brilliant and beautiful Joan Blondell, who appears in nearly every scene and certainly outranks O'Brien in both screen time and importance to the plot. The cast is filled out quite nicely with familiar faces from Warner Brothers stable of commendable talent, including John Litel, Ben Welden, and Granville Bates as the coroner. Also keep your eyes on the uncredited generic reporters that make up the press pool in the Plattstown sequences, one of them is DeWolfe (later William) Hopper, who in twenty years time would become Paul Drake on the TV series "Perry Mason".

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