Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Torchy in 1938

The next year we see Torchy Blane in three more movies.  The 1938 offerings were Blondes at Work, Torchy Blane in Panama, and Torchy Gets Her Man.

Blondes at Work again starred Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane.  In the advertisements it carried this wonderful tagline:  BEWARE! SNAPPY SNOOPY BLONDE AT WORK!

Once again the film is filled with a great cast of people who's names are relatively forgotten these days.  Tom Kennedy is here again.  Donald Briggs (1911 - 1986) has 72 roles on film and TV.  John Ridgley (1909 - 1968) appears in the rest of the Torchy series, but unlike Kennedy, he plays different parts instead of always being the same character.  He also has 176 roles to his credit, starting in 1935 up to 1954.

Betty Compson (1897 - 1974) was in this film and also in the next.  She played in 208 movies going back to 1917.  Thomas E. Jackson (1886 - 1967) has 177 titles from 1929 to 1966.  Jackson played alongside many great stars such as Humphrey Bogart, E. G. Robinson, William Powell and Clark Gable.  It must have been great to work in the movies in the 1930s.

Torchy Blane in Panama stars Lola Lane (1906 - 1981) as Torchy and Paul Kelly (1899 - 1956) as Det. McBride.  My research has failed to find any theories as to why they switched to different leads, but don't worry, Glenda and Barton will be back.

Kelly has 168 titles in his list and Lane has 45.  Lola Lane was one of the Lane Sisters, and it is said that in her one Torchy Blane film, she was the inspiration for Lois Lane in the Superman series.

Also in Panama we see a small role with Leo White (1873 - 1948) who has only 432 films listed in IMDb, but some suspect he made over 2,000 films without any credit or notice.  That's what happened to many actors and actresses in the silent era.

Torchy Gets Her Man sees the return of Glenda and Barton.  I think by now the Torchy series is beginning to show its age and the stories start to get less exciting.  Thank goodness the bit parts don't.

Willard Robertson (1886 - 1948) has 145 roles in his list.  George Guhl (1875 - 1943) has 143 roles.  Frank Reicher (1875 - 1965) with 230 roles was also the ship's captain who went to Skull Island in King Kong (1933).

Three movies to go!

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