An airliner makes a forced landing at night in the desert. The passengers and crew take refuge in a nearby deserted house. Soon some of the passengers are found murdered, and one of the ... See full summary »
A businessman's daughter runs away from an arranged marriage, only to find herself penniless and suspected of theft after she becomes the victim of a bag thief in the train. When she ... See full summary »
Russ Evans, A WWII veteran army pilot, decides to check up on the widow of an old war buddy of his, Elaine Graham. The logging company she inherited is doing poorly, but Elaine gets an ... See full summary »
Mary Beth Hughes,
A (rather shady?) private detective specializing in recovering highly insured items gets involved in recovering a stolen necklace. In the process also gets involved with a secretary at the insurance company.
Donald Woods is Barry Drake, a sort of private operator who specializes in recovering stolen valuables and returning them to the insurance companyfor a handsome fee, no questions asked. Realizing his latest recovery fee has been accepted for a fake necklace, not the original, he sets out after the burglars who have it. Patricia Ellis is Dale Harrison, insurance company secretary who latches onto Drake's trail and sets out after him. The great William Demarest is Eckbart, a police detective whose greatest professional goal is to catch Barry Drake at the illegal doings he's sure Drake's mixed up inand he follows them both.
It's a fun ride that includes a train journey to Cincinnati followed by an automobile excursion toward New Orleans that gets sidetracked and winds up in some kind of hillbilly country where the people say things like "Hey Pappy! We got furriners!" It's all quite nutty and holds just tightly enough to an actual plot line to keep it making sense.
Lots of familiar faces in this Republic productionthere's Edward Brophy as Drake's right hand man and sidekick, Granville Bates as the blustery necklace's owner, Andrew Tombes as the insurance company executive. Not household names, at least not in my household, but boy, those guys were in a lot of movies.
All that marred this excellent B movie was the chopped up 53-minute version that is currently available. The film seems to have been a good 68 minutes originally; this shortened version was presumably prepared for some long-ago TV release, but it's riddled with major gaps that make it hard to follow and distract woefully from its enjoyment. If I can ever find the complete version, I will cheer!
Even as is, though, the film is well worth those 53 minutes. Woods and Ellis make a handsome pair as they spar and quip; the supporting cast is excellent; the dialog is sharp. All in all it's a first-rate example of that rich and silly genre, the late '30s quickie comedy-mystery.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?