Dr. Lawrence Baxter, working with the Bureau of Pure Foods and Drugs, uses radio broadcasts to expose a number of fraudulent patient medicines, with his bitterest attacks being aimed at ... See full summary »
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Dr. Lawrence Baxter, working with the Bureau of Pure Foods and Drugs, uses radio broadcasts to expose a number of fraudulent patient medicines, with his bitterest attacks being aimed at Kennedy Radium Products the manufacturer of a tonic called 'Radium Rejuvenating Tablets," which Baxter claims is a slow cause of death. This leads the manufacturer to try every means to defeat and discredit the young doctor. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of the last Republic films produced by the great Nat Levine, of Mascot Pictures fame, this stars Robert Livingston (The Three Mesquiteers) as a crusading young doctor out to smash the influence of quack doctors pitching their dangerous pseudo-scientific treatments over the radio waves. Obviously, the film is based on doctors such as the infamous Dr. John Brinkley, the "goat gland surgeon" who had a thriving radio-based business in the 1920s and 1930s (the quack doctor here, with an army of attorneys just like Brinkley had, as called Kennedy). Directed by Irving Pichel (maker of the classic QUICKSAND, among many others), LARCENY ON THE AIR plays like a medical version of a standard crime film, but like any Levine production or Pichel film, it's well-paced and wastes no time getting started. The leading lady is Grace Bradley, who married William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd this same year, playing a character much more complex than she at first seems to be. There are a lot of little-known but fine non-western, non-serial films made at Republic in the pre-World War II era. This is one of the many that are worth rediscovering.
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