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Fly Away Baby (1937)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  19 June 1937 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 160 users  
Reviews: 9 user

Torchy Blane solves a murder and smuggling case during a round-the-world flight.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Glenda Farrell ...
...
Gordon Oliver ...
Hugh O'Connell ...
Hughie Sprague
Marcia Ralston ...
Ila Sayre
Tom Kennedy ...
Joe King ...
Mr. Guy Allister (as Joseph King)
Raymond Hatton ...
Gordon Hart ...
Mr. Sills
Anderson Lawler ...
Alexander L. Torey
...
Colonel Higgam
Emmett Vogan ...
Clifford Vance
George Guhl ...
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Storyline

Torchy and Steve are investigating a murder/jewel theft with roots in Germany. She lobbies her publisher to underwrite her participation in an around-the-world airplane race because arrogant businessman 'Sonny' Croy will be a participant. Not only is he a prime suspect in the case, but the international itinerary includes Frankfort, Germany. Written by duke1029@aol.com

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Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fly-Away Baby  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The DC-3 seen in the film, NC16002, disappeared on a flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Miami in 1948, and has been referred to as a possible Bermuda Triangle mystery. See more »

Quotes

Hughie Sprague: Are you a married man?
Sgt. Orville Gahagan: And how! Is it noticeable?
See more »

Connections

Followed by Torchy Blane.. Playing with Dynamite (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Around The World In 30 Minutes -- Courtesy Warner Bros B-Unit
19 February 2013 | by (North Texas sticks (see all my reviews)) – See all my reviews

Back in Jules Verne's steam-powered 19th Century, a trip around the World in only 80 days was considered astounding. In 1924 two U. S. Army aviators managed it in a new world record of 15 days, 11 hours. But that was nothing! In 1937 Warner Brothers second feature Fly-Away Baby, Glenda Farrell as irrepressible, smart-girl reporter Torchy Blane zips around the world in less than 30 minutes, using only the final half of the fast-moving, action-packed one-hour movie. All done with stock footage of the vehicles used and still pictures or footage of the various cities Torchy passes through, the mood for each locale set with appropriate regional music. All the while, a bold line meanders across a map of the Pacific Ocean, Asia, and Europe with the shadow of an airplane following along, motors humming. Lengthy scenes in Honolulu and Stuttgart are economically but artfully dispatched with small sets and back-projection. You may be so swept away by this Old Hollywood magic, and so absorbed into this engrossing, lightning-paced mystery pot-boiler, you will feel as if you've actually been to San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Suttgart with Torchy. And wow! what a window into time! You get to see file footage of a huge China Clipper taking off from a choppy sea, a gigantic Zepplin majestically gliding though the clouds, and a shot of the yet unfinished Golden Gate Bridge -- not to mention the usual swarms of square-top, spoke-wheel automobiles to be seen careening about the streets of 1930's motion pictures.

The Torchy Blane series was a chance for reliable Warner supporting players Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane to strut their stuff in lead roles for a change. And they both shine! He's Torchy's tough cop boy friend Steve McBride, who needs her help to dope out the cases he's not sharp enough for. At least that's the way she tells it. Fly-Away Baby has the crime-solving duo after a diamond thief/murderer. The main suspect (Gordon Oliver), who is a columnist of a newspaper rival to Torchy's, is making an around-the-world promotional trip. Torchy and Steve suspect the crook will try to sell the hot diamonds somewhere along the way, so Torchy convinces her own newspaper publisher (Henry Davenport) to spring for her to follow along in what is promoted as an "around the world race." Hugh O'Connell provides sophisticated comedy relief as another reporter in the so-called race. A dandy with a rich wife, he's always bragging to his no-class cronies about spending her money and playing around on her. Little does he know his suspicious spouse has hired Steve's muddled, philosophical driver Gahagan (Tom Kennedy) to tag along and keep an eye on him. Steve joins Torchy in Stuttgart, where another murder takes place, then they take off aboard the Zepplin for the final leg of the journey and the exciting denouement. The airship scenes are very impressive for a B-movie.

Fly-Away Baby is not quite so good as the first in the Torchy series, Smart Blonde (1937) (see my review). But Smart Blonde was something special, really a tough act to follow, and Fly-Away Baby is still wonderful. Fast-talking, fast-moving, breezy, funny, engaging, exciting, beautifully filmed, and expertly acted, especially by the two charming leads -- a delight from beginning to end. All handsomely wrapped up in polished production values only a slice below what you would expect from one of Warner Brothers' top "A" pictures. Director Frank McDonald, a career B-picture specialist, and film editor Doug Gould pack so much action into sixty minutes of running time, it's like five gallons of slick, smooth Classic Hollywood entertainment concentrated into a half-pint movie!

It's never ceases to amaze how the big studios of Old Hollywood could turn out these minor masterpieces while bringing to bear only a fraction of their available resources.


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