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Michael Cassidy is the managing-editor of a small newspaper which is about to be closed down by its new owner, Matthew Cooper, who owns another newspaper in the city and only bought the second one to get rid of the competition. There has been a kidnapping in the city and Cassidy gets one of the hundred-dollar-bills, paid in ransom, at a saloon and begins to trace the bill backwards step-by-step to get to the kidnappers. He is aided by Ellen Frazier, a schoolteacher, who is the only eye-witness. Each step leads to a miniature drama of it own to...to the widow, Ruby Alley, at the wake of her dead prizefighter-husband...to the owner of a gambling house, Arno, who discovers that his brother, the cashier of the casino, is involved in the kidnapping...to a husband who is not thrilled to learn his wife ahas been cheating on him...before he finds the kidnappers. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Melvin Douglas stars in the 1939 B movie, Tell No Tales.
Douglas plays Michael Cassidy, who is the editor of a newspaper whom he's told is about to close its doors. In the meantime, a rag has been sensationalizing a kidnapping; a witness (Louise Platt) is being kept a virtual prisoner at the school where she teaches. While Mike is having a drink in his usual bar, the bartender checks a list and realizes that he has one of the bills the kidnappers received. This gives Mike the idea of tracking down and catching the kidnapper himself and giving his newspaper a great final issue.
I often wonder how Melvin Douglas must have felt, breezing his way through one film after another, possibly knowing that he was one of the finest actors of the century. It was a talent he wouldn't be able to show until he was an old man, but when he did, one saw how wasted he had been all those years. He's wonderful here in a spirited performance.
It was nice to see Mantan Moreland and Theresa Harris in this film, as they were two black actors deserving of more recognition. Moreland is probably best remembered as Birmingham, Charlie Chan's chauffeur. He had a friendly face and an enormous comic talent. Theresa Harris for some reason had better roles in precode films than she did later on. I suppose in a way this is a film about wasted talent - Moreland and Harris, a beautiful and sexy woman, were victims of their time and Douglas was in a groove from which he did not escape until much later.
Good movie with some very good performances.
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