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Wrecking Crew (1942)

Approved  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  7 November 1942 (USA)
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Title: Wrecking Crew (1942)

Wrecking Crew (1942) on IMDb 6.5/10

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A celebration of the musical work of a group of session musicians known as "The Wrecking Crew", a band that provided back-up instrumentals to such legendary recording artists as Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Bing Crosby.

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Director: William Berke
Stars: Chester Morris, Nancy Kelly, Jane Farrar


Complete credited cast:
Matt Carney
Duke Mason
Peggy Starr
Joe Sawyer ...
Fred Bunce
Esther Dale ...
Mike O'Glendy
Alexander Granach ...
Joe Poska
Martha Poska
Billy Nelson ...
Tom Kemp
William Hall ...
Frank Melton ...
Fred Sherman ...
Alec Craig ...
Nigel De Brulier ...
Father Zachary
Byron Foulger ...
Mission Worker


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THEY'LL WRECK ANYTHING... A Skyscraper... A Heartbreaker... Or Each Other! See more »






Release Date:

7 November 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nerver af stål  »

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Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

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User Reviews

Good-hearted attempt at a big picture on a small budget
16 December 2011 | by (Minnesota) – See all my reviews

Chester Morris is considered a top man with a wrecking ball; he's also got a reputation as a jinx, due to a couple of job site accidents. Doggedly cheerful, he rescues down-and-out stranger Jean Parker as she's thrown out of a bar for stealing. She tells him her only option left is the river; he follows her down to the bridge, chatting the whole way about never giving up, making one more try, and so forth. Finally he pauses and leans against a bridge rail, continuing to comment on her joke about the river as she walks away. "I knew it was just a gag," he says, "I just wondered how it was gonna pay off." --Splash.

Needless to say, he jumps in and saves her—a change in his luck! Soon, job foreman Richard Arlen appears on the scene and also takes an interest in Parker….and their love triangle story runs alongside the larger plot of this ambitious B movie about the men—and women—who clear away old buildings to make way for the new, encountering danger and conflict at every step.

Morris's energy carries the show along; he talks faster, climbs more recklessly, loves his friends more devotedly than anyone else on the screen. Richard Arlen is steady and solid, the sensible character who shares mutual respect with Morris despite their different styles. Arlen really doesn't have much to do in the picture….or is he just overshadowed by Chester making all the noise? Parker, as the girl loved by both, is charming and lively enough.

Joe Sawyer is quite good as a one-time major league pitcher who just needs to save up a little more money to get the elbow operation which will allow him to make his comeback. (From their ball-tossing scenes, it appears that Morris may have played some ball at one time, Sawyer not so much.) Esther Dale is quite wonderful as the wrecking company owner—trying to hang on to her late husband's business, she is referee, guide and mother as much as employer.

The climactic scene is genuinely exciting—the tension builds, the acting is good, a rousing music score helps overcome the rather hapless (even for 1942) demolition site special effects.

An enthusiastic piece of work that aims high and mostly succeeds.

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