The Adventures of Jane Arden (1939) Poster

User Reviews

Add a Review
7 Reviews
Sort by:
Rosella Towne Was Really Pretty and Should Have Had a Bigger Career!!!
kidboots7 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
....And she actually looked like the comic strip heroine as well!!! Rosella had had a career of mostly uncredited parts and she probably hoped that this movie would lead to a series but it was an ordinary production and didn't really have much in common with the original comic strip. Unfortunately it was the highpoint of Rosella's career and after that it was back to anonymity. Apart from William Gargan, the most well known member of the cast was the beautiful Peggy Shannon, who was ending her career in bit parts after succumbing to alcoholism. To me, she always added interest to any film she appeared in.

Jane Arden first appeared as a comic strip in 1928. Back then women reporters were often referred to as "sob sisters" but Jane Arden paved the way for being as hard hitting as any man - she was more interested in putting crooks out of action. Rather like Brenda Starr, except Jane was the original. She was given her own radio show in 1937 which lasted a couple of years, then came the movie. Ed Towers (William Gargan) newspaper editor, is sick of the front page always being filled with the exploits of dizzy socialite Martha Blanton (Maris Wrixon) but Jane is sure there is a story there somewhere as the Blanton family "haven't got a dime" yet Martha always finds money for cruises and trips. There is something fishy going on - jewel smuggling and Martha now demands out but is killed before she can get very far along the dusty, lonely road.

Jane has already worked out what is happening and like all good reporters goes undercover as a pretty socialite down on her luck who is not concerned how she makes her money. She is soon on her way to Bermuda to pick up some jewels to smuggle back to the States. On board the ship she meets the charming Dr. Vander (James Stevenson) and his "patient" Lola (Peggy Shannon). By the end of the voyage there has been an attempted kidnapping (of Ed) and a chase in the night where several people fall off their horse wagons (Lola for one)!!!

The movie was nothing to get excited about but another new talent appearing, Maris Wrixon, proved to have a more enduring career (only just) than Towne!!!
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Fast-moving programmer that failed to create a series.
mark.waltz18 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
"I'm going to get me a drink of scotch, rye, and gin. Maybe it will clear my head". So says Dennie Moore, a poor man's Gracie Allen, who tries to add some dim-witted wisdom to a film that was obviously made to create another "Torchy Blane" like series. Rosella Towne and William Gargan do their best to make the predictable story exciting, but it's only the short running time that makes this passable. Had it been any longer, it would have rated less. Benny Rubin is wasted as Moore's stereotypical 30's Jewish boyfriend. It's too bad "Will and Grace's" Karen didn't get ahold of the quote written above. It's right up her alley. The film seems more like a feature length compilation of a serial where character development and plot aren't important, only the action.
0 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
A pleasant little surprise
gerdeen-129 July 2010
"The Adventures of Jane Arden" is an orphan film: It was supposed to be the first in a series about a popular comic strip heroine, but the series never got rolling.

Audiences presumably didn't warm up to this movie, but it's hard to understand why. Compared to most of the "B" cheapies of its time, it's excellent. Though it's short (about an hour), it starts with a bang and rolls right along. And its obscure star, Rosella Towne, is really good.

Jane Arden, spunky girl reporter, is said to have been the inspiration for the later but better-remembered comic strip character Brenda Starr. Jane's strip died out sometime in the 1960s, but judging from her brief film career, I wish she were still around. It was a pleasure making her acquaintance.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Jane's On The Trail Of A Story
bkoganbing26 July 2010
The Adventures of Jane Arden based on the Jane Arden comic strip with Rosella Towne starring as the Lois Lane type reporter at odds with her perpetually exasperated editor William Gargan. This was to be the first in a series of Jane Arden films had the series taken off. But it didn't.

Probably one of the reasons was a bad editing job and I doubt we'll ever see a director's cut here. Maris Wrixon who is an impoverished play girl is now working for a gang of jewel thieves when she wants out and is bumped off. Hobart Cavanaugh gets arrested for the crime and you see him and then he's just not in the film as our heroine Towne starts pursuing her own theory of the crime. Incredibly bad editing and more's the pity because Cavanaugh is always entertaining.

No mystery involved because we know who did it right at the beginning, gentleman thief James Stephenson posing as a doctor. Stephenson is the best thing about the film, a most charming, cunning, and deadly villain.

Had Warner Brothers done a better job with this film we might have seen a slew of Jane Arden films.
0 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Watch the astounding Rosella Towne!
I was astonished to find this little movie on TCM which nicely illustrates how one has to be willing to explore film history in order to find some unknown gems. In this case, the jewel of the piece is Rosella Towne, a beautiful actress whose name and background were totally unknown to me after 60 years of being a movie fan and whose presence in this film lifts it far above the ordinary. Only 21 years old when the film was made, Rosella projects an image which is equal to and frequently above the performances of stars who became much more well-known during the same era. The first bit part for Rosella was in 1937 when she was 19 years old. Her career lasted until 1943, a scant 6 years later, and during this brief sojourn, she managed to knock out 34 films. When she is on screen, her presence demands that you watch her actions. The ending when she kisses William Gargan is particularly dramatic. Too bad that Rosella Towne's career did not last longer. She had a lot to offer and it is a shame that we have so few examples of her work to exhibit. During this movie, you will also need to watch for Pierre Watkin who played Perry White in the Superman series and who managed to be involved with 388 movies in a 25-year career.
11 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Chic and Entertaining, With the Stylish Rosella Towne
David (Handlinghandel)5 November 2003
Rosella Towne wears clothes beautifully, moves well, is pretty, and has great comic timing. Why had I never heard of her before this turned up and what happened to her career?

This is an entertaining romantic comic newspaper crime story. Maris Wrixon is a chic bad girl who reforms a little late and James Stephenson, always good, is conniving as the heart throb of a smuggler/killer.

But it's Towne's movie.l And three cheers for her!
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this
Nice little film from Warner Brothers
SkippyDevereaux5 February 2002
A fast paced, short (one hour) film. It is one of those "B" films from Warner Brothers in the 1930's and it is very enjoyable. The lead actress, Rosella Towne, is quite good in the lead role. Wonder why she never made it big in Hollywood? One will never know. The plot is as old as the hills, all about a female newspaper reporter on the trail of jewel smugglers, but this is a still a treat to watch. I recommend this little film!!
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? | Report this

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews