Flash, The Wonder Dog paired with action star David Sharpe
I recently watched two 1935-36 features starring and written by future stuntman David Sharpe (Social Error and Adventurous Knights), which prompted me to dig out this old favorite, a 20-25 minute "featurette" where Sharpe and the amazing German Shepherd "Flash, The Wonder Dog" are united against a group of crooks building a shoddy dam with substandard materials and placing the whole valley in jeopardy. There's enough action for a feature film here, and the characters are quickly established in the first few scenes (when someone TRIES to hit a child with a car, you can be fairly sure he's the villain of the piece!). The location shooting makes the film fascinating to watch, and Flash is an amazing dog who will warm the heart of any dog lover. 30's b-movie heroine Gertrude Messenger, who was married to Sharpe, is also in the film, but the short running time keeps her character from getting much screen time. It's all Sharpe and Flash versus the bad guys. Any lover of early 30s Mascot serials should enjoy this entertaining short (in some ways, Sharpe is like a taller Frankie Darro!). Although this was no doubt a throwaway short rented for a low flat fee, the filmmakers did a much better job than they needed to, and there are some surprising point-of-view shots from a runaway mining rail car and an out-of-control auto with two little children trapped in it. If you like low budget, independent 1930s action films, be sure to see Wild Waters. By the way, fans of the classic serial THE LOST CITY will recognize the canned music from that film about halfway through this short.
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