Paradise Express (1937)

US / 53 minutes / bw / Republic Dir: Joseph Kane Pr: Nat Levine Scr: Jack Natteford, Betty Burbridge Story: Allan Vaughan Elston, Paul Perez Cine: Jack Marta Cast: Grant Withers, Dorothy Appleby, Arthur Hoyt, Maude Eburne, Harry Davenport, Donald Kirke, Arthur Loft, Lew Kelly, Anthony Pawley, Fern Emmett, John Holland, Bob McClung, Bruce Mitchell, Guy Wilkerson, George Cleveland, Horace Murphy, Ralph McCullough.

The Moon Valley Short Line Railroad is on its last legs, despite the efforts of its curmudgeonly boss, Jed Carson (Davenport), and his feisty granddaughter Kay (Appleby). Both of them initially loathe the receiver the company’s creditors have appointed, Lawrence/Laurence (the movie gives both spellings) “Larry” Doyle (Withers):

Kay: “[He wants] more dismissals? It’s a pity someone can’t dismiss Mr. Lawrence with a well aimed sledgehammer.”

The trouble is that the Armstrong Trucking Corp., led by slimeball Armstrong (Kirke), is undercutting the railroad’s prices and even its transit times.

Dorothy Appleby as Kay and Grant Withers as Larry.

Yet Larry proves to have the railroad’s interests at heart. He soon earns Kay’s devotion and Continue reading

Night for Crime, A (1943)

US / 72 minutes / bw / PRC Dir: Alexis Thurn-Taxis Pr: Lester Cutler Scr: Arthur St. Claire, Sherman Lowe, John Vlahos Story: Jimmy Starr Cine: Marcel Le Picard Cast: Glenda Farrell, Lyle Talbot, Ralph Sanford, Lina Basquette, Lynn Starr, Donald Kirke, Forrest Taylor, Ruby Dandridge, Florence O’Brien, Rick Vallin, Marjorie Manners.

In Hollywood during WWII, Joe Powell (Talbot), publicist for the studio Motion Picture Associates, is crazy about journalist Susan Cooper (Farrell). He’s at her apartment one evening when there’s a sudden power blackout; from the apartment across the hall comes a scream, and the pair discover the strangled corpse of fledgling actress Ellen Smith (Manners).

Soon Joe and Susan are involved in solving not just this mystery but the disappearance of the studio’s star actress, Mona Harrison (Basquette), who seems to have run away leaving producer Hamilton Hart (Kirke) holding a $300,000 bill for her latest, unfinished movie.

Mona’s servants—cook Alice Johnson (Dandridge, mother of Dorothy Dandridge) and her sassy niece Louise (O’Brien), the maid—testify that Mona didn’t seem herself the night before her disappearance; depending on who’s telling the story, either she Continue reading