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Torchy Blane.. Playing with Dynamite (1939)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 169 users  
Reviews: 9 user

Torchy Blane and Steve McBride try to nab a gangster by tracking his moll.

Director:

(as Noel Smith)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Tom Kennedy ...
Sheila Bromley ...
'Jackie' McGuire
Joe Cunningham ...
Eddie Marr ...
Denver Eddie
Edgar Dearing ...
Jim Simmons (as Edgar Deering)
Frank Shannon ...
Bruce MacFarlane ...
Bugsie
George Lloyd ...
Harp
...
Judge Hershey
John Ridgely ...
Reporter at the Wrestling Match
Larry Williams ...
Reporter with Pipe
John Harron ...
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
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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:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Torchy's real first name is mentioned. It's Helen. See more »

Goofs

During the fight in the jail, one inmate throws a stool at another inmate and misses her. The stool hits the supposedly brick wall, leaving a big dent. See more »

Quotes

Gahagan: [Seeing the Bone Crusher ifor the first time in fifteen years] Holy Mackeral! How he has grown!
See more »

Connections

Follows The Adventurous Blonde (1937) 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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