Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help ...
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Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help locate her husband, Therme, he learns that she is really Norma Phillips, wanted by Chicago police for murder of her husband. She escapes, but Saunders borrows a corpse from the morgue to arrange her fake funeral. The trap brings the woman and Therme to the mortuary out of curiosity.Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Based on a book by John H. Ayers who was the Captain of the New York City Police Department's Missing Persons Bureau for 15 years. See more »
Butch tells Capt. Webb he found Caesar on a roof on 10th Avenue, which is on the west side of Manhattan. However from shots from the roof, the Manhattan Bridge is visible, which spans the East River from Lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. The bridge is too close for the rooftop to be on 10th Avenue. See more »
The opening credits are presented on title cards See more »
When the movie was re-released in 1936, the credits were revised to list the then-popular Bette Davis first. The re-released version is the one shown on the Turner Classic Movies channel. It is unknown whether other changes were made. See more »
If you've already seen all the well-known studio films from the early 30's, it's fun to go back and fill in with some lesser known ones, like this typical Warner's B-movie.
Its director, Roy del Ruth, was strictly B-list at this point in his career. The supporting cast -- Allen Jenkins, Ruth Donnelly, Glenda Farrell, Hugh Herbert -- are familiar from the Busby Berkeley movies, and each brings a stereotyped character briefly to life, which is what they were paid to do. Farrell in particular is funny as a gold-digger.
Pat O'Brien is actually the lead, although Bette Davis was given top billing. He's best known for playing butch types -- reporters, cops, soldiers, manly priests. (In this one, Butch is actually his character's name!) His performance here is surprisingly subtle and varied; it makes me want to see more of his movies.
Unfortunately the story is hopelessly implausible and unconvincing. Davis does the best she can with a confusingly-written part, although I can't quite tell whether she's trying to do an accent or not. And she changes from a blonde to a brunette halfway through -- was she shooting another picture at the same time?
The whole thing looks like it was thrown together in a couple of weeks. Probably the only really demanding scene to film was a car chase near the end, shot on location (or was it stock footage?).
All in all, probably worth 72 minutes of your time if you happen to run across it on TCM. Don't expect too much though...
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