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Smart Blonde

(1937 b 60')

En: 5 Ed: 4

A woman reporter helps a police detective solve two murders in the first and only Torchy Blane movie actually based on a story by Frederick Nebel.

Torchy Blane (Glenda Farrell) jumps onto a train and asks Tiny Torgenson why he bought Fitz Mularkey's sporting enterprises. Getting into a cab with Torchy, Torgenson is shot dead. Torchy reports the story. Dolly Ireland (Wini Shaw) sings a torch song for Fitz Mularkey (Addison Richards) while drunk Chuck Cannon (Max Wagner) complains that Fitz sold out. When Chuck pulls a gun, Fitz knocks him out. Torchy learns about Chuck from Dixie (Jane Wyman) while Lt. Steve McBride (Barton MacLane) questions Fitz, who says he is going to marry Marcia Friel (Charlotte Wynters). Fitz puts Chuck's gun in his safe.

Steve suspects the four guys who wanted to buy Torgenson's business; but Torchy argues against that and suggests Chuck. Steve and Torchy call on Fitz and meet Marcia and her brother Lewis Friel (Robert Paige). Steve asks Fitz about Chuck. Steve leaves Torchy in the car and enters Chuck's apartment; but Torchy comes in and finds clues. Fitz comes in and asks Steve what he has on Chuck. Steve finds Sax in his office wanting his men released. Sax says that Dolly was involved with Chuck and Fitz. Steve and Torchy ask Dixie about Dolly. Steve visits Dolly and asks why she was at Union Station with Chuck. Torchy has lunch with Dolly. Marcia and Lewis tell Steve that Fitz took a gun away from Chuck.

Steve learns that Chuck was murdered. Torchy finds a witness and a slip of paper with a Boston address. Steve discovers that Chuck's gun is not in the safe, and he arrests Fitz, who says he did it because Chuck threatened Marcia. Fitz pulls a gun, but Steve wounds him; yet Fitz escapes. Steve looks for Dolly and tells Torchy that he likes her. Dolly is brought in, and Steve questions her. Steve accuses her of killing Chuck, saying Fitz covered up for her. Torchy takes a photo from Dolly's bag and says Dolly was with her. Steve learns that Chuck's gun did not shoot Torgenson. Torchy and Steve go to Marcia's to find Fitz. Steve questions Marcia, and Torchy questions Lewis. Steve arrests Marcia to flush out Fitz. Torchy gets an arranged call and says the murderer is Marcia, and Lewis is not her brother. Lewis pulls a gun. Fitz picks up a gun and shoots Lewis, who wounds Fitz. In the hospital Steve explains to Fitz about Marcia and Lewis. Dolly comes in, and Torchy says how she figured it out. Steve proposes to Torchy, and they kiss.

This snappy detective story spawned eight more movies about spunky Torchy Blane, who stands up for her rights as a reporter and outsmarts her friend Steve though she does take evidence without showing it to the police.

Copyright © 2000 by Sanderson Beck

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