International Crime (1938)

US / 64 minutes / bw / Grand National Dir: Charles Lamont Pr: Max Alexander, Arthur Alexander Scr: Jack Natteford, John Krafft Story: Foxhound (1937) by Maxwell Grant (i.e., Theodore A. Tinsley) Cine: Marcel Le Picard Cast: Rod La Rocque, Astrid Allwyn, Thomas Jackson, Oscar O’Shea, Lew Hearn, Wilhelm von Brincken, Tenen Holtz, William Pawley, Wm. Moore (i.e., Peter Potter), John St. Polis, Jack Baxley, Walter Bonn, Harry Bradley, Will Stanton.

This follow-up to the previous year’s The Shadow Strikes (1937) is often listed as a sequel, but so much has been changed about the essential setup—perhaps reflecting the fact that this movie was based on a much later novel in the series than its predecessor—that it’s almost as if it’s a completely separate entity linked only by the fact that the two movies’ leading characters share a name and pseudonym.

Rod La Rocque as Lamont Cranston

In this iteration Lamont Cranston is a crime reporter on the Daily Classic (or Evening Classic; both names are used); he also gives a bulletin every evening on the paper’s affiliate radio station, EMOR. The Shadow isn’t the name of his crime-fighting alter ego; it’s merely the Continue reading

Hollywood Mystery (1934)

US / 54 minutes / bw / Fanchon Royer, Regal Dir: Breezy Eason Pr: Fanchon Royer Scr: John Thomas Neville Story: William Bloecher Cine: Ernest Miller Cast: June Clyde, Frank Albertson, José Crespo, Tenen Holtz, John Davidson, Stanley Price, Cyril Ring, Edith Terry Preuss, Frances Morris, William H. O’Brien.

Hollywood Mystery 0 opener

Daniel Patrick Ryan (Albertson), usually known as “Dan” or “Danny”, is in charge of PR for Poverty Row studio Supreme Pictures. His boss, Benjamin “Benny” Vogel (Holtz), is in the habit of firing and then rehiring him. The reason he’s being fired today is that he has committed the studio to making a movie called The Racketeer, when everyone knows the public’s tired of gangster movies. Worse still, the director he has lined up for it is the foreign auteur he insisted the studio hire a year ago and who’s done nothing ever since, Siegfried Sonoff (Davidson). It’s a match made in hell. (Why a PR guy should have been doing such things is a bit of a puzzler, but this is a Poverty Row production itself.)

Hollywood Mystery 1 Danny makes his case to Benny

Danny (Frank Albertson) makes his case to Benny.

Dan has an inspiration, and he sells the idea to Sonoff. What about casting a real gangster in the lead role? Sonoff, master of European realism, adores the idea. Benny Continue reading