19 user 5 critic

Smart Blonde (1937)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Mystery | 2 January 1937 (USA)
Female reporter Torchy Blane teams with her cop boyfriend Lt. Steve McBride to solve the killing of an investor who just bought a popular local nightclub.


Frank McDonald


Kenneth Gamet (screen play), Don Ryan (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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More Like This 

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Torchy conducts a one woman campaign against a corrupt mayor and crime boss, and when the reform candidate is murdered, she takes up the banner.

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

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The Stann family gives a small party prior to daughter Bernice's marriage to socialite Monty, but all of the guests seem to be against the match.

Director: H. Bruce Humberstone
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Complete credited cast:
Glenda Farrell ... Torchy Blane
Barton MacLane ... Steve McBride
Wini Shaw ... Dolly Ireland (as Winifred Shaw)
Addison Richards ... Fitz Mularkey
Robert Paige ... Lewis Friel (as David Carlyle)
Craig Reynolds ... Tom Carney
Charlotte Wynters ... Marcia Friel (as Charlotte Winters)
Jane Wyman ... Dixie - Hatcheck Girl
Joseph Crehan ... 'Tiny' Torgenson
Tom Kennedy ... Gahagan
John Sheehan ... Leon Blyfuss
Max Wagner ... Chuck Cannon
George Lloyd ... Pickney Sax


Journalist Torchy Blane and her fiance Lt. Steve McBride are trying to solve the murder of Tim Torgson, who was killed right before Torchy's eyes. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Quietly LIKE A BOILER FACTORY...Torchy Blane will steal your heart! We're carrying the torch for Torchy, the smartest blonde reporter who ever found a wedding ring inside a gambling ring!


Comedy | Drama | Mystery


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 January 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

No Hard Feelings See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The first of nine "Torchy Blane" films from Warner Brothers released from 1937 to 1939. Glenda Farrell played Torchy in seven of the nine films. See more »


Torchy Blane: Maybe he's like Fitz - he thinks a woman's a wonderful thing.
Steve McBride: Nah, he couldn't be that dumb!
See more »


Followed by Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939) See more »


You're Walking in My Sleep
(1935) (uncredited)
Written by Ben Oakland and Benee Russell
See more »

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User Reviews

Little Programer Packs A Big Punch
29 December 2012 | by oldblackandwhiteSee all my reviews

Dynamite comes in small packages. Which describes both short "B" second feature Smart Blonde and its cute, perky star Glenda Farrel as Torchy Blane. Initial entry in the highly successful Torchy Blane series, Smart Blonde runs on open throttle for its entire 59 minutes. It is smart, tough, breezy, lightning paced, with funny, snappy dialog delivered incredibly fast. This picture is nothing if not fast-talking. Glenda Farrell reportedly could speak 390 words per minute, and she demonstrates it throughout. But co-star Barton MacLane, who plays her tough cop boy friend Steve McBride, may actually have surpassed her in the motor mouth department in a couple of scenes. Most of the other Runyonesque characters in this entertaining mystery do likewise. If all the dialog in this movie had been delivered at a normal cadence, the running time would have been at least twenty minutes longer. This picture along with other Warner Brothers gangster movies of the 1930's makes you wonder if the studio had a course in fast talking for its stock players.

Stock players were exactly what Farrell and MacLane were. Usually in supporting parts, she the hard-boiled broad, he the burly, loud-mouthed gangster or cop. But the Torchy series gave both a chance to use their special talents in leading roles, and both made the best of it. The pair had crackling chemistry together, with cozy affectionate interludes only occasionally breaking their constant rat-a-tat wise-cracking. Torchy is a smart girl reporter who solves the cases Steve isn't sharp enough to dope out on his own. At least that's the way she sees it.

Farrell and MacLane get solid support from a crew of other Warner Brothers stock players, especially Addison Richards as a shady, but on-the-level night club/race track operator around whom the murder mystery swirls, Wini Shaw as the beautiful singer who loves him, and Charlotte Wynters as the high class dame he loves. This role as a tough, but likable borderline hoodlum was a real change of pace for Richards. In 400 movie and television appearances from the 1930' to the 1960's the tall, lanky actor rarely played other than judges, district attorneys, doctors, high ranking army officers, and other dignified types. MacLane may have showed good chemistry with the pretty, vivacious Farrell, but it was Charlotte Wynters who became Mrs. Barton MacLane about a year after Smart Blonde's release.

Smart Blonde is a delightful, stimulating little mystery potboiler, full of plot twists, intrigues, and explosive bursts of action. Characterization is colorful and well developed. As a big studio "B" picture, the sets and cinematography are nearly as good as in one of Warner Brothers' top productions. Director Frank McDonald, a life-long "B" picture specialist, keeps all on target throughout. To compress all that happens in the story into less than an hour running time, even considering the machine gun dialog delivery, should rate as a masterpiece of film editing for Frank MaGee. Acting was first rate all around but especially from the two likable leads.

An enduring example of how the big studios of Old Hollywood could turn out good looking, entertaining pictures when only half-way trying.

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