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When his friend Tom Hadley is picked out of a lineup as one of the men who robbed furs from a warehouse, rookie cop Clem Maitland uses his police dog, Ace, to refute the eyewitness. Clem found a portion of ripped overalls at the scene, and Ace's keen sense of smell would have identified Hadley, he argued. But Police Commissioner Hugh Thomas, who doesn't believe in the usefulness of dogs in the police force, is not convinced, and Hadley is arrested. The next day, the same gang robs a payroll in broad daylight and kills the gateman after decoying Ace and Clem, who was assigned to protect the payroll. Despite being suspended, Clem tracks a glove left at the scene to one of the gang members, and takes his girl, Gerry Lane, and Ace to investigate the roadhouse being used as a front, unaware that he was spotted by the gang members, who lay in wait for them. Written by
Arthur Hausner <email@example.com>
THIS IS A RATHER unique bit of "B" film-making. With he distinct risk of sounding totally egocentric, we must admit that it's a real surprise that our considerable knowledge of movies of all sorts, we had never heard of this title.
THE CAST PROVES to be up to the task of giving us a good, "family" type picture that do make Walt Disney proud! Lacking any well known or even familiar by face to the movie goer. Those chosen prove to be a most capable of a repertoire company. Maybe this lack of popular familiarity proved to be beneficial to the overall effect of the picture; as no actor would be seen as typecast as some other "B" in some other studio's output.
THE OME EXCEPTION to this exercise in anonymity is the Star of the Show, Tim Holt. The young Master Holt had been on screen dating back to the last days of the silent; with the guidance and blessings of father, film actor, Jack Holt. The youthful Holt literally grew up before the camera, eventually earning his own "B" Western series at RKO; which proved to have a great "shelf life" with the Saturday Matinée Crowd.*
AS TO THE picture (which is supposed to be the object of our review), it may well be a fine example of what makes a great popcorn movie. The production crew carefully blends the proper portions of fantasy, childhood adventure, cops & robbers action and America's love affair with our puppy dogs (by way of ACE THE SWONDER DOG) into an enjoyable juvenile romp.
IN MANY RESPECTS this movie has roots in several other sections of popular fiction. Most obvious is the resemblance to the comic strip, RADIO PATROL; or at least it's serial adaptation from Universal (1937). The relationship is further obvious in its childlike view of police work and for the "flat foots" themselves.
ONE ADDITIONAL OBSERVATION we have noticed is a physical resemblance to the considerable output of paintings done by Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) for the SARURDAY EVENING POST. This may be viewed as being sappy to some; but we think this would be a most worthwhile goal to pursue for the tired, shabby America and World in which we live.
NOTE: * The long, highly successful screen career of Tim Holt was reached the very zenith of fame & fortune when he was cast along with Humphrey Bogart, Walter Houston, Bruce Bennett and Barton MacLane in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (Warner Brothers, 1948). We've read that the role that Mr. Holt won had been intended for John Garfield; who had left the studio before the film was made.
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