Smart Blonde is a 1937 American mystery film directed by Frank McDonald. Starring Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane, a beautiful, headline-hunting, wisecracking female reporter teaming up with her boyfriend, detective Steve McBride to solve the killing of an investor who just bought a popular local nightclub; this is the first of nine Torchy Blane films by Warner Bros. It was released on January 2, 1937; the film is followed by Fly-Away Baby. Torchy Blane a reporter for the Morning Herald interviews Tiny Torgenson on the train, he is purchasing the Million Club and various gambling and sporting enterprises from his friend Fitz Mularkey. Fitz has decided to quit the business due to his upcoming marriage to Marcia Friel; when Torchy and Tiny arrives at the train station, as they leave Union Station, Tiny is shot and killed. His murder is witnessed by Torchy and she calls her newspaper with the story. Torchy goes with her boyfriend detective Steve McBride, in charge of investigating the murder case, to the Million Club and tells Fitz Mularkey about Tiny's murder.
Fitz being good friends with Tiny wants to catch the murderer himself before the police can, but Steve advises him to do otherwise. While Steve investigates, Torchy learns from the club's hat check girl Dixie that the club singer Dolly Ireland was in love with Fitz and that Fitz's right-hand man and bodyguard, Chuck Cannon, was angry about losing his job. Steve suspects the other bidders for the business for Tiny's murder, she persuades Steve to look for Chuck, while they are at Chuck's apartment, Fitz shows up and demands to know about the police investigation on the case. Steve learns that Chuck and Dolly were seen at Union Station just before Tiny was killed. Meanwhile, Torchy has afternoon tea with Fitz's fiancée Marcia, who asks Torchy to convince Fitz to sell his business to anyone who wants to buy it. Chuck is found dead in his hotel room. Steve suspects Fitz, as the evidence points to him being the killer. Fitz escapes. Steve doesn't believe Fitz is the killer and is thinks; when the forensics report reveals that Chuck's gun did not kill Tiny, Steve questions Marcia, who tells him that because Chuck had threatened her, she is afraid that Fitz killed him to protect her.
Torchy becomes suspicious when Marcia and her brother Lewis Friel tell conflicting stories about their parents. Torchy and Gahagan go to Marcia's apartment to find Fitz. Torchy exposes Marcia and Lewis as phonies: they are con artists out to steal Fitz's money. Lewis is revealed as the killer of both Chuck, he killed Tiny because he would have been able to recognize Marcia as an imposter, Chuck because he was close to exposing them. Lewis pulls a gun, but is shot by Fitz, Marcia is arrested. Fitz decides to keep the business and realizes his future is with Dolly, Steve proposes to Torchy. Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane Barton MacLane as Steve McBride Wini Shaw as Dolly Ireland Addison Richards as Fitz Mularkey Robert Paige as Lewis Friel Craig Reynolds as Tom Carney Charlotte Wynters as Marcia Friel Jane Wyman as Dixie Joseph Crehan as Tiny Torgenson Tom Kennedy as Gahagan Frank Faylen as Ted Parks In 1936, Warner Bros. began to develop an adaptation of the MacBride and Kennedy stories by detective novelist Frederick Nebel.
For the film version, Kennedy is changed to a woman named Teresa "Torchy" Blane and is now in love with MacBride's character. Director Frank MacDonald knew who he wanted for the role of Torchy Blane. Glenda Farrell had played newspaper reporters in earlier Warner Bros. films Mystery of the Wax Museum and Hi, Nellie!, she was cast in the title role, with Barton MacLane as Steve McBride. Farrell and MacLane would star in seven of the nine Torchy Blane movies; the film was based on Nebel's short story "No Hard Feelings" published in the Black Mask magazine. The story was adapted again as the 1941 film A Shot in the Dark; the movie's working title during filming was No Hard Feelings. The music and lyrics for the song "Why Do I Have to Sing a Torch Song" was written by M. K. Jerome and Jack Scholl. Warner Archive released a boxed set DVD collection featuring all nine Torchy Blane films on March 29, 2011. Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times writes: "In Smart Blonde, in which Glenda Farrell imitates a reporter and Barton MacLane libels the homicide squad, we have a murder mystery solved by an endless succession of door-openings and shuttings, taxi-hailings, jumping in and out of automobiles, riding up and down in elevators.
Mr. Shaw's pet antipathies are present, too, as well as one shot of Miss Farrell swinging aboard a moving train. For all this activity the film is a static and listless little piece which never made us at all curious about the killer of Tiny Torgensen, night club operator, Chuck Cannon, Suspect No. 1 until he died of lead poisoning. I seem to remember having seen the story in pictures before. Smart Blonde on IMDb
Her Husband's Secretary
Her Husband's Secretary is a 1937 American drama film directed by Frank McDonald and written by Lillie Hayward. The film stars Jean Muir, Beverly Roberts, Warren Hull, Joseph Crehan, Clara Blandick and Addison Richards; the film was released by Warner Bros. on February 26, 1937. Jean Muir as Carol Blane Kingdon Beverly Roberts as Diane Ware Warren Hull as Barton'Bart' Kingdon Joseph Crehan as Stevenson Clara Blandick as Agatha'Aunt Gussie' Kingdon Addison Richards as Steven Garron Harry Davenport as Dan Kingdon Gordon Hart as Mr. Blake Minerva Urecal as Miss Baldwin Her Husband's Secretary on IMDb
Tell It to a Star
Tell It to a Star is a 1945 American musical film directed by Frank McDonald, written by John K. Butler, starring Ruth Terry, Robert Livingston, Alan Mowbray, Franklin Pangborn, Isabel Randolph and Eddie Marr, it was released on August 1945, by Republic Pictures. Carol Lambert is a cigarette girl in a posh Florida hotel. A note is delivered to the resort's bandleader, Gene Ritchie, requesting that Carol get a chance to sing. Gene has a singer, Mona St. Clair, so the note causes resentment and Carol is fired. Mrs. Whitmore, the hotel's owner, rehires her. Meantime, a con artist who calls himself "Colonel" Morgan turns up and, with partner Billy, begins scamming the hotel's guests. An embarrassed Carol tries to cover for him. Morgan uses his charms to persuade Mrs. Whitmore to let Carol sing. She's a great success, but when an irate Mona reveals that Morgan's a con man who has promised to deliver a new benefactor for the band, the musicians walk out. Carol arranges an all-female band for Gene and it's a hit.
She and Gene hit it off, too. Ruth Terry as Carol Lambert Robert Livingston as Gene Ritchie Alan Mowbray as Colonel Ambrose Morgan Franklin Pangborn as Horace Lovelace Isabel Randolph as Mrs. Arnold Whitmore Eddie Marr as Billy Sheehan Lorna Gray as Mona St. Clair Frank Orth as Augustus T. Goodman Tom Dugan as Ed Smith George Chandler as Al Marx Mary McCarty as Miss Dobson William B. Davidson as Brannigan Aurora Miranda as Specialty Act Tell It to a Star on IMDb
Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American film studio based in Hollywood, a subsidiary of the American media conglomerate Viacom since 1994. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world, the second oldest in the United States, the sole member of the "Big Five" film studios still located in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hollywood. In 1916, film producer Adolph Zukor put 22 actors and actresses under contract and honored each with a star on the logo. In 2014, Paramount Pictures became the first major Hollywood studio to distribute all of its films in digital form only; the company's headquarters and studios are located at 5555 Melrose Avenue, California, United States. Paramount Pictures is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America. Paramount is the fifth oldest surviving film studio in the world after the French studios Gaumont Film Company and Pathé, followed by the Nordisk Film company, Universal Studios, it is the last major film studio still headquartered in the Hollywood district of Los Angeles.
Paramount Pictures dates its existence from the 1912 founding date of the Famous Players Film Company. Hungarian-born founder Adolph Zukor, an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time. By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, Zukor was on his way to success, its first film was Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth. That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish known as Samuel Goldwyn; the Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first feature film, The Squaw Man. Starting in 1914, both Lasky and Famous Players released their films through a start-up company, Paramount Pictures Corporation, organized early that year by a Utah theatre owner, W. W. Hodkinson, who had bought and merged several smaller firms.
Hodkinson and actor, producer Hobart Bosworth had started production of a series of Jack London movies. Paramount was the first successful nationwide distributor. Famous Players and Lasky were owned while Paramount was a corporation. In 1916, Zukor maneuvered a three-way merger of his Famous Players, the Lasky Company, Paramount. Zukor and Lasky bought Hodkinson out of Paramount, merged the three companies into one; the new company Lasky and Zukor founded, Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, grew with Lasky and his partners Goldwyn and DeMille running the production side, Hiram Abrams in charge of distribution, Zukor making great plans. With only the exhibitor-owned First National as a rival, Famous Players-Lasky and its "Paramount Pictures" soon dominated the business; because Zukor believed in stars, he signed and developed many of the leading early stars, including Mary Pickford, Marguerite Clark, Pauline Frederick, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, Wallace Reid. With so many important players, Paramount was able to introduce "block booking", which meant that an exhibitor who wanted a particular star's films had to buy a year's worth of other Paramount productions.
It was this system that gave Paramount a leading position in the 1920s and 1930s, but which led the government to pursue it on antitrust grounds for more than twenty years. The driving force behind Paramount's rise was Zukor. Through the teens and twenties, he built the Publix Theatres Corporation, a chain of nearly 2,000 screens, ran two production studios, became an early investor in radio, taking a 50% interest in the new Columbia Broadcasting System in 1928. In 1926, Zukor hired independent producer B. P. Schulberg, an unerring eye for new talent, to run the new West Coast operations, they purchased the Robert Brunton Studios, a 26-acre facility at 5451 Marathon Street for US$1 million. In 1927, Famous Players-Lasky took the name Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation. Three years because of the importance of the Publix Theatres, it became Paramount Publix Corporation. In 1928, Paramount began releasing Inkwell Imps, animated cartoons produced by Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios in New York City.
The Fleischers, veterans in the animation industry, were among the few animation producers capable of challenging the prominence of Walt Disney. The Paramount newsreel series Paramount News ran from 1927 to 1957. Paramount was one of the first Hollywood studios to release what were known at that time as "talkies", in 1929, released their first musical, Innocents of Paris. Richard A. Whiting and Leo Robin composed the score for the film. By acquiring the successful Balaban & Katz chain in 1926, Zukor gained the services of Barney Balaban, his brother A. J. Balaban, their partner Sam Katz (who would run the Paramount-Publix theatre chain in New York City from the thirty-five-stor
My Pal Trigger
My Pal Trigger is a 1946 American Western musical film directed by Frank McDonald. The screenplay by Jack Townley and John K. Butler was based upon a story by Paul Gangelin; the film stars Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, George “Gabby” Hayes, Jack Holt, Trigger in a story about the origin of Rogers's mount, their deep and faithful bond. The film features several musical numbers for Rogers and Bob Nolan and the Sons of the Pioneers, it was filmed at Deerwood Stock Farm in California. Roy Rogers, a horse dealer and a peddler of leather goods, is hoping to mate his mare named "Lady" with Golden Sovereign, a stallion owned by rancher Gabby Kendrick. Kendrick refuses. Brett Scoville, a wealthy rancher and nightclub owner, wants to mate the stallion with his mare, as well, to that end, steals the stallion. Golden Sovereign breaks free, finds Lady, has a romantic interlude with her in the hills. A search is raised to find Golden Sovereign, but Scoville accidentally shoots and kills the horse when Golden Sovereign is attacked by a wild stallion.
Roy arrives on the scene and chases Scoville off, but cannot identify him as the killer. To all appearances, it looks like Roy is responsible for the death of Golden Sovereign, he is arrested, he jumps bail, takes off on Lady. Months Lady gives birth to Golden Sovereign's son. Roy names him Trigger and, in time, the horse becomes his mount. Roy returns to the Golden Horse Ranch to present Trigger as a gift to Kendrick; the gift is declined, Roy is jailed as a fugitive from justice. Trigger is auctioned to pay Roy's debts. Scoville acquires the horse and, hires him to train Trigger. A year Scoville and Susan Kendrick enter their horses in a race at the State Fair. Roy is riding Scoville's Trigger in the race, Scoville promises him ownership of the horse should he win the race. Roy is reluctant to race. However, Roy aids Susan when Scoville's men hold her horse in a pocket on the track. Susan wins the race on Golden Empress, Roy loses possession of Trigger. Scoville is arrested for killing Golden Sovereign, Roy comes into possession of Trigger through Kendrick.
Roy is employed at the Kendrick ranch, Trigger becomes the father of twin sons born to Susan's Golden Empress. Roy Rogers as Roy Rogers, a horse dealer and peddler of leather goods Trigger as Trigger, the son of Kendrick’s Golden Sovereign and Roy’s Lady George "Gabby" Hayes as Gabby Kendrick, owner of the Golden Horse Ranch and Golden Sovereign, a stallion Dale Evans as Susan Kendrick, his daughter Bob Nolan as Bob, a Kendrick ranch hand Sons of the Pioneers as musicians and Kendrick ranch hands Jack Holt as Brett Scoville, a wealthy rancher, horse breeder, owner of the El Dorado casino and nightclub LeRoy Mason as Carson, Scoville’s henchman Roy Barcroft as Hunter, Scoville’s henchman Kenne Duncan as a croupier at Scoville’s nightclub Sam Flint as the Sheriff of El Dorado County Ralph Sanford as Al, an auctioneer Francis McDonald as Pete, a storekeeper Harlan Briggs as Dr. Bentley, a veterinarian William Haade as Davis “She’s Havin’ Too Much Fun” “Old Faithful” List of films in the public domain in the United States My Pal Trigger on IMDb My Pal Trigger is available for free download at the Internet Archive My Pal Trigger at AllMovie My Pal Trigger at the TCM Movie Database My Pal Trigger at the American Film Institute Catalog
Evelyn Brent was an American film and stage actress. Born in Tampa and known as Betty, Brent was a child of 10 when her mother Eleanor died, leaving her father Arthur to raise her alone. After moving to New York City as a teenager, her good looks brought modeling jobs that led to an opportunity to become involved in the still new business of making motion pictures, she studied to be a teacher. While attending a normal school in New York she visited the World Film Studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey. Two days she was working there as an extra making $3 a day, she began her film career working under her own name at a New Jersey film studio made her major debut in the 1915 silent film production of the Robert W. Service poem, The Shooting of Dan McGrew; as Evelyn Brent, she continued to work in film, developing into a young woman whose sultry looks were much sought after. After World War I, she went to London for a vacation, she met American playwright Oliver Cromwell who urged her to accept an important role in The Ruined Lady.
The production was presented on the London stage. The actress remained in England for four years, she worked on stage there before going to Hollywood in 1922. There, her career received a major boost the following year when she was chosen as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. Douglas Fairbanks Sr. failed to find a story for her. Evelyn went on to make more than two dozen silent films including three for the noted Austrian director Josef von Sternberg, including The Last Command, an epic war drama for which Emil Jannings won the first Academy Award for Best Actor and featured a pivotal supporting performance for William Powell; that same year, she starred opposite William Powell in Paramount Pictures' first talkie. One film, did not live up to expectations at the box office. Despite that, Brent played major roles in several more features, most notably The Silver Horde and the Paramount Pictures all-star revue Paramount on Parade. By the early part of the 1930s, she was busy working in secondary roles in a variety of films as well as touring with vaudeville shows.
By 1941 her screen career was at its least prestigious point. Now too mature for ingenue roles, no longer in demand by major studios, she found plenty of work at the smaller, low-budget studios, she photographed attractively opposite leading men who were at advanced ages and stages in their careers: Neil Hamilton in Producers Releasing Corporation's production Dangerous Lady, Lee Tracy in the same studio's The Payoff, Jack Holt in the serial Holt of the Secret Service, produced by Larry Darmour for Columbia Pictures. Her performances were still persuasive, her name was still recognizable to moviegoers: theater owners put "Evelyn Brent" on their marquees. In the early 1940s she worked in the Pine-Thomas "B" action features for Paramount Pictures release. Veteran director William Beaudine cast her in many "B" productions, including Emergency Landing, Bowery Champs, The Golden Eye, Again Pioneers. After performing in more than 120 films, she retired from acting in 1950 and worked for a number of years as an actor's agent.
Evelyn returned to acting in television's Wagon Train for one episode in 1960, The Lita Foladaire Story starring Ward Bond and Diane Brewster. Evelyn Brent was married three times: to movie executive Bernard P. Fineman, to producer Harry D. Edwards, to the vaudeville actor Harry Fox for whom the foxtrot dance was named, they were still married when he died in 1959. Brent died of a heart attack in 1975 at her Los Angeles home, she was interred in the San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, California. In 1960, Brent was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a motion pictures star for her contributions to the film industry, her star is located at 6548 Hollywood Boulevard. Silent, extant Silent, lost Talking The New York Times, Evelyn Brent, 75, Film Star of 1920s, June 8, 1975, Page 55. Evelyn Brent on IMDb Evelyn Brent at AllMovie Photographs of Evelyn Brent Evelyn Brent at Find a Grave
One Body Too Many
One Body Too Many is a 1944 American comedy-mystery film directed by Frank McDonald, starring Bela Lugosi and Jack Haley. A timid insurance salesman Albert L. Tuttle visits eccentric millionaire Cyrus J. Rutherford, intent on selling him a $200,000 insurance deal. Instead he finds that Rutherford has died and his mansion is now full of relatives who are, according to the will, all bound to remain in the mansion until a glass-domed vault is constructed on the roof, to house the deceased millionaire, an ardent follower of the stars. Tuttle is mistaken for a private detective sent to guard the body, once the confusion is cleared up and the real detective fails to show, he is convinced by Rutherford's niece Carol Dunlap to remain and ensure that the body is not stolen. If the body should be buried any place other than the vault, the will states that recipients who would receive the largest request will receive the smallest, vice versa. One of the recipients plans to reverse the will in their favor, hide the body and kill anyone who gets in their way.
For mild-mannered Tuttle, he is directly in the way of the killer, the rest of the conniving family. Jack Haley as Albert L. Tuttle Jean Parker as Carol Dunlap Bela Lugosi as Merkil Blanche Yurka as Matthews Lyle Talbot as Jim Davis Douglas Fowley as Henry Rutherford Fay Helm as Estelle Hopkins Bernard Nedell as Attorney Morton Gellman Lucien Littlefield as Kenneth Hopkins Dorothy Granger as Mona Rutherford Maxine Fife as Margaret Hopkins Pine-Thomas Productions specialised in action films but decided to move into comedy and signed Jack Haley to star in movies for the company of which this was the second. Pine and Thomas wanted Boris Karloff for the key horror role. Frank McDonald signed to direct in December 1943. Bela Lugosi was signed. List of films in the public domain in the United States One Body Too Many on IMDb Review at Variety One Body Too Many is available for free download at the Internet Archive