Bad Guy (1937)

US / 69 minutes / bw / MGM Dir: Edward Cahn (i.e., Edward L. Cahn) Pr: Tom Reed Scr: Earl Felton, Harry Ruskin Story: J. Robert Bren, Kathleen Shepard, Hal Long Cine: Lester White Cast: Bruce Cabot, Virginia Grey, Edward Norris, Jean Chatburn, Cliff Edwards, Charley Grapewin, G. Pat Collins, Warren Hymer, John Hamilton, Clay Clement, Russell Hopton, Garry Owen, Roy Gordon

A fairly standard crime programmer with more than a touch of noirish nihilism and an interesting lecture in the middle—complete with graphic demonstrations!—on the properties of high-voltage electricity. Don’t tell me that 1930s movies had anything but the highest educational aspirations.

Linemen/linesmen (the screenplay uses both forms of the term) “Lucky” Walden (Cabot) and Steve Carroll (Norris) have been partners repairing power  lines for a dozen years, but they go back ‘way further than that. Once they were best buddies in the orphanage together, and they regard each other not just as friends but as brothers.

Bruce Cabot as Lucky

One day Lucky, addicted to gambling, lashes out with a wrench in an altercation with a crooked gambler, Charlie Edwards (Hopton). Edwards Continue reading

Grand Central Murder (1942)

US / 74 minutes / bw / MGM Dir: S. Sylvan Simon Pr: B.F. Zeidman Scr: Peter Ruric Story: Grand Central Murder (1939) by Sue MacVeigh Cine: George Folsey Cast: Van Heflin, Patricia Dane, Cecilia Parker, Virginia Grey, Samuel S. Hinds, Sam Levene, Connie Gilchrist, Mark Daniels, Horace McNally (i.e., Stephen McNally), Tom Conway, Betty Wells, George Lynn, Roman Bohnen, Millard Mitchell, Tom Dugan

Mida King (Dane), showgirl star of a string of Broadway hits, is a relentless gold digger: she lures men, milks them dry, then dumps them. One of the luckless men, Turk (McNally), refused to be dumped, and so Mida framed him for murder and watched him get sent up the river.

Patricia Dane as Mida King

But now, en route to New York for a reopening of his trial, Turk escapes the train on which he was being transported and, from the gloomy depths of Grand Central Station, phones Mida’s dressing room at the Harmony Theater on Broadway and informs her sweetly that he’s on his way to kill her.

Virginia Grey as Sue Custer and Van Heflin as Rocky Custer

Not unnaturally sent into a panic, Mida runs out on the second act of her current show and heads for Grand Central and the private railcar owned by her current fiancé, rich smoothie David V. Henderson (Daniels). Not so very long later, David and the longtime fiancée he dumped in Mida’s favor, Constance Furness (Parker), discover Mida’s corpse naked in the bathroom of the railcar.

But the railcar was locked from within.

And even the medical examiner can’t initially establish how Mida was killed.

 

Inspector Gunther (Levene) is soon on the job, and Continue reading