Aunt Emma Bates (Zasu Pitts), a spinster, visits the "Big Town" to see a boxing match participated in by Mickey O'Banion (Malcolm 'Bud' McTaggart), son of Emma's old fiancé who was himself a boxing champion. At the arena Emma sits next to Terry (Roger Pryor), a reporter who is trying to track down Rex Crenshaw (Irving Mitchell), lawyer for gangster "Flower" Henderson (Tristram Coffin), who has been kidnapped by rival gang-leader Gus Hammond (Douglas Fowley), and manager of Mickey. After the fight Emma is mistaken for a notorious gun-woman named Ma Parker, and suspected by Hammond's henchmen of working in the interests of Henderson. Mickey is shot during an altercation at Henderson's nightclub and is later kidnapped from the hospital by his manager's men and taken to an East Side outlaw. Emma, in an effort to free Mickey, and with the aid of Maris (Gwen Kenyon), Terry's fiancée, decides to pose as Ma Parker. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Zasu Pitts is wonderful as Emma Bates, an unassuming small town lady who makes a trip to the big city to see a boxing match and ends up holding her own in the middle of a mob battle.
Zasu is sweet and odd as Aunt Emma, staid in appearance, a respectable woman; however, Zasu is a riot when she takes on the role of "Ma Parker," that much-feared lady gangster who carries a gun in her umbrella and can "shoot silver dollars out of the air."
The plot, for what it's worth, involves Emma's visit to see the boxer son of an old flame, some gangsters running the boxing game, some shooting and kidnapping, and a newspaperman who can't catch a scoop if it lands in his lap but is nevertheless a good hearted guy with whom Zasu strikes up a friendship. It all wouldn't make much sense, I'm sure, if you were to study it too closely but why would you?
Lots of fun, especially for anyone who's a fan of Zasu's peculiar charm.
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