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Torchy Blane.. Playing with Dynamite (1939)

Approved | | Action, Comedy, Mystery | 12 August 1939 (USA)
Torchy Blane and Steve McBride try to nab a gangster by tracking his moll.

Director:

(as Noel Smith)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Joe Cunningham ...
Eddie Marr ...
Denver Eddie
Edgar Dearing ...
Jim Simmons (as Edgar Deering)
Frank Shannon ...
Bruce MacFarlane ...
Bugsie
...
Harp
...
Judge Hershey
John Ridgely ...
Reporter at the Wrestling Match
Larry Williams ...
Reporter with Pipe
...
Motorcycle Policeman
Cliff Clark ...
Mike Kelly
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Storyline

While in traffic court, Torchy bumps into Jackie Maguire, girlfriend of the notorious hoodlum Denver Eddie, who is sentenced to jail for shoplifting. Torchy gets herself thrown into jail by turning in false alarms and ultimately befriends Maguire. With police collusion, she escapes to San Francisco taking Maguire with in in hopes of capturing Denver Eddie. Steve and Gahagan follow undercover in hopes of collecting the $5000 reward as a down payment for house for him and Torchy, but not before Steve is spotted and Gahagan ends up in the wrestling ring and gets a chance to settle a score with an old opponent. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! (original ad- all caps)

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Mystery

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 August 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dead or Alive  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When "The Bone Crusher" - Gahagan's opponent in the boxing ring - mentions Gahagan's real first name (which The Bone Crusher knew from their Navy wrestling days) - it is hard to hear the name. It could be "Jay" - as someone has suggested in another Trivia item - but it sounds a bit more like "Jerry" (one can hear two syllables). See more »

Goofs

At the climax of the women's fight in the prison sewing room, in which the character identified on the IMDb character list as "Ruby - Black Convict Woman" is struggling to get at "Jackie" with the scissors, at one point it looks as if the scissors shoot by the shoulder of Jackie (who is backed against the wall), and barely miss her, implanting themselves in the wall. This gives the momentary impression that Ruby hurled the scissors at Jackie. But a second later, you don't see any scissors sticking out of the wall, and Ruby still has the scissors in her hand, and Torchy has to knock her arm and scissors aside. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Steve McBride: Don't you feel all right?
Gahagan: Certainly, only I don't like ridin' on the airplane. they make me ears feel funny.
Lt. Steve McBride: They're on your head, ain't they?
Gahagan: [after ressuring himself that they are] Yeah... why?
See more »

Connections

Follows Torchy Blane in Panama (1938) See more »

Soundtracks

The Man I Love
(1924) (uncredited)
Music by George Gershwin
Heard often as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Alternate leads look good as spunky reporter and police detective fiancé
18 April 2013 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

In court for a traffic ticket, reporter Torchy Blane encounters a shoplifter sentenced to nine months in jail—and later spots said shoplifter in a photo with much sought bank robber Denver Eddie. Torchy loses no time in having herself thrown into jail, befriending the moll, and planning an escape that—she hopes—will lead her to Denver Eddie himself and a great big scoop.

Jane Wyman is a brisk and chipper Torchy Blane, bubbling with self-confidence and bright ideas in this fun final picture in the Torchy Blane series. Wyman also talks fast—though not as fast as Glenda Farrell, who played Torchy in most of the series' previous entries. Wyman's Torchy is perhaps a bit sweeter than Glenda's and not quite as hard-nosed.

Wyman is aided greatly by Allen Jenkins as Lieutenant Steve McBride—annoyed, as always, by his fiancée's superior detecting skills as well as her willingness to poke criticism at his department's failures. Jenkins brings a touch of good humor to the role, at least in comparison with Barton McLane, who was the series' regular Lt. McBride…. It's a sour but not really bitter Stevie who complains that Torchy's latest column makes "a hero out of this Denver Eddie punk after we do everything but go through the public schools looking for him."

Tom Kennedy is as much fun as ever as Gahagan, police chauffeur and assistant. This time around we learn that Gahagan was once wrestling champ of the Navy—and has the belt buckle to prove it. He is, of course, pressed into service in the wrestling ring, billed (reluctantly) as "Harry the Horse" and allowed to show off his moves.

Other highlights include Torchy's crime spree—setting off fire alarms all over town in order to get herself locked up. There's also a wonderful "gritty prison picture" sequence that lasts all of about two minutes, in which Torchy and the shoplifter cross paths, form a bond, and plan their breakout; it's brief, but it sure has all the earmarks of a Warner Brothers crime drama for that one (fun but rather incongruous) scene.

The stars work well together; a decent plot, some fair dialog and a little action all add up to a very enjoyable little comedy-mystery.


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