Detective Kitty O’Day (1944) and Adventures of Kitty O’Day (1945)

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Two B-feature crime comedies starring the vivacious Jean Parker!

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Detective Kitty O’Day

US / 61 minutes / bw / Monogram Dir: William Beaudine Pr: Lindsley Parsons Scr: Tim Ryan, Victor Hammond Story: Victor Hammond Cine: Ira Morgan Cast: Jean Parker, Peter Cookson, Tim Ryan, Veda Ann Borg, Edward Gargan, Douglas Fowley, Herbert Heyes, Pat Gleason, Olaf Hytten, Edward Earle.

Detective Kitty O'Day - opener

A high-spirited comedy thriller/mystery from Monogram, the first in an intended series that for some reason never made it past the second outing.

Kitty O’Day (Parker) is secretary to broker Oliver M. Wentworth (Earle) and girlfriend of one of Wentworth’s gofers, Johnny Jones (Cookson). One evening, after Johnny has brought a fortune in securities to Wentworth, the broker tells Kitty to go and fetch train tickets to Boston for the following day and to meet him later at his home for a last couple of urgent letters. Johnny, who’d bought theater tickets for tonight, is naturally miffed, and sounds off on the sidewalk to her about what he’d like to do with their boss. His tirade is overheard by a nearby taxi driver (Gleason), who’s especially startled by the line: “I’d like to kill him.”

Detective Kitty O'Day - 1 Johnny and Kitty, office lovers

Johnny (Peter Cookson) and Kitty (Jean Parker) — can the two lovers find happiness?

When Kitty reaches the Wentworth establishment she finds it’s suffering a power outage. A candle-bearing butler, Charles (Hytten), tells her that Continue reading

Heartaches (1947)

Here’s a very shy contribution to this splendid endeavor:

US / 71 minutes / bw / PRC Dir: Basil Wrangell Pr: Marvin D. Stahl Scr: George Bricker Story: Monty F. Collins, Julian I. Peyser Cine: Jack Greenhalgh Cast: Sheila Ryan, Edward Norris, Chill Wills, Kenneth Farrell, James Seay, Frank Orth, Chili Williams, Al LaRue, Charles Mitchell, Phyllis Planchard, Ann Staunton, Arthur Space, Keefe Brasselle, Edward Earle, Terry Moore, Minerva Urecal, Mack Williams.

Heartaches 0a

Vic Morton (Farrell) is the latest singing sensation to come to Hollywood, having signed a contract with Majestic Studios. In a very interesting opening sequence to this movie, we’re shown, after a brief account of Hollywood, the trailer for Vic’s first movie, also called Heartaches, as supposedly projected inside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. He sings the popular 1931 title song (music by Al Hoffman, lyrics by John Klenner) while languidly romancing an unnamed blonde (Moore).

Heartaches 0b

Cut to a while later. Heartaches has been a big success and Majestic is pushing ahead with Vic’s next vehicle, Broadway Ballad. We discover almost immediately a carefully guarded secret: Vic can’t sing. That mellifluous tenor voice emanates from his regular accompanist, songwriter and old band friend, the homely-faced “Bogey” Mann (Wills), with the handsome Vic merely lip-synching. The pair are rehearsing in the company of publicist Toni Wentworth (Ryan) when the secret is almost blown wide open: into the Continue reading

Ticket to a Crime (1934)

US / 66 minutes / bw / Beacon Dir: Lewis D. Collins Pr: Max Alexander Scr: Charles A. Logue, Jack Neville Story: Carroll John Daly Cine: Gilbert Warrenton Cast: Ralph Graves, Lois Wilson, Lola Lane, James Burke, Charles Ray, Edward Earle, Hy Hoover, John Elliott, John Webb Dillon.

Ticket to a Crime - 0 opener

A minor, moderately entertaining comedy mystery of the kind that the Poverty Row studios churned out seemingly by the dozen during this era, this is saved from complete mediocrity by the appeal of its two leading ladies, who seem somehow a cut above their male counterparts.

A jeweler named Davidson (Elliott) has discovered that his books have been doctored to the tune of $50,000, and assumes the guilty party must be his former son-in-law, Courtney Mallory (Ray, the only one of the male cast to bring much nuance to his role). The matter comes to the attention of the cops when Davidson tries to use the Van Dyne pearls, which have been placed in his care, as security for a short-term bank loan. The banker, Miller (uncredited), declines the loan and informs the cops. Inspector Tyler (Dillon) puts gormless Det.-Lt. John Aloysius McGinnis (Burke) onto the case.

Ticket to a Crime - 1 Repressed secy Peggy C

PI Clay Holt’s repressed secretary Peggy Cummings (Lola Lane).

Davidson himself contacts down-at-heel PI Clay Holt (Graves), gives him a $500 retainer and a couple of tickets to a party at the Lido Country Club that night, and tells him he’d like to Continue reading

Amateur Crook (1937)

vt Crooked but Dumb; vt Jewel Thief

US / 59 minutes / bw / Victory Dir & Pr: Sam Katzman Scr: Basil Dickey Cine: Bill Hyer Cast: Herman Brix (i.e., Bruce Bennett), Joan Barclay, Monte Blue, Jack Mulhall, Fuzzy Knight, Vivien Oakland, Jimmy Aubrey, Henry Rocquemore, Edward Earle, Forrest Taylor, Fern Emmett, Sam Adams, Charles Williams.

Collateral loans agent Jan Jaffin (Mulhall) and his nefarious crony Crone (Blue) plan to bilk explorer Jerry Cummings (Taylor), currently in Mexico, of a $50,000 diamond he left as security with Crone for a $10,000 fixed-term loan. Cummings’s daughter Betsy (Barclay), having suspected Crone, has recently, under the name Mary Layton, taken a job as Jaffin’s secretary. Learning the details of the pair’s scheme, she filches the rock and goes on the lam, running into the block of bachelor apartments run by amorous widow Mrs. Flint (Oakland). Opening a door at random, she finds herself in the studio of unsuccessful painter Jimmy Baxter (Brix).

Minutes before, in fending off Mrs. Flint’s offer to pose for him, Jimmy has unconvincingly explained that he prefers to use as model the dummy currently splayed across his couch, wrapped in a diaphanous scarf and other frills. Now, as Crone and a bumbling cop (Adams) arrive seeking the fugitive Betsy, Jimmy persuades her to dress as the dummy, which latter they hide in the couch. Thanks to Mrs. Flint’s conviction that this is the dummy she saw moments earlier, the ruse works. Unfortunately, Mrs. Flint then rumbles the trick. The pair escape, but not before Betsy has secreted the diamond inside the dummy.

Amateur Crook - Betsy's unusually convincing as an artist's dummy

Betsy (Joan Barclay) is unusually convincing as an artist’s dummy.

They return that night in hopes of retrieving it, only to find that Continue reading