After being wounded by a bullet, bank robber Charlie Blake seeks shelter with his gang at his brother's mountain retreat. There he rekindles his romance with his brother's wife and reconnects with the boy he believes is his son.
This was a nice little film. Duryea played the average man here, a bit down on his luck as we first see him, a point emphasized by the stairway that we see him descending en route home. His wife is about to leave him since he's chronically unemployed, and says she's going to take their daughter with her.
This happens the next day and then he later gets a telegram stating that his daughter was injured in a car accident and is about to undergo surgery. He'll supposedly get the details the next day via a phone call. But that's just it - his day started out bad, and only got worse as the phone company terminated his service and if that isn't bad enough, his dog is also injured in an accident while he's out trying to scrounge up money to pay the bill so he can get the call the next day.
It reminded me of Loretta Young's "Cause For Alarm" in which we follow the protagonist through an agonizing day, in her case she was trying to retrieve an incriminating letter. It may have been sunny in each film, but the characters are having one very dark day.
"Chicago Calling" may be the title, but what we get is the lower environs of Los Angeles in all of its seediness. But still some helpful characters emerge, such as a counter-woman who must have seen The Grapes of Wrath and has a soft spot for Duryea's woe, and a young boy, the one whose bicycle hits Duryea's dog. The boy's "help" only compounds Duryea's problems, but he meant well.
A very nice job on a low budget, the director John Reinhardt died the next year, but based on this and "Open Secret" - another budget job that had antisemitism in its sights, he had a lot of promise that might have been fulfilled had he gotten the breaks.
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