Based on a book by Captain Cornelius Willemse, the NYPD’s original “gang buster,” Behind the Green Lights pits the police vs. a crooked mouthpiece and features a romance between cop and lawyer. Easily found independent release is fast-paced and entertaining.
Brief look at RKO “B” movie Full Confession (1939) starring Victor McLaglen, Joseph Calleia, Sally Eilers, and Barry Fitzgerald, directed by John Farrow.
A band of kidnappers return to their hideout with $200,000 in ransom money in Show Them No Mercy. They find a stranded family at the house and have no choice but to hold them captive until they make sure the ransom money is good.
Story of romance and brotherhood spread across a movie neatly divided between the war and gangster genres. They Gave Him a Gun stars Spencer Tracy, Gladys George, and Franchot Tone. Released as MOD DVD-R by Warner Archive.
A Bonnie and Clyde tale predating Gun Crazy (1950) by eleven years. Persons in Hiding is the first of four movies adapted from J. Edgar Hoover’s book of the same name. Electrifying debut by Patricia Morison with J. Carrol Naish strong opposite her.
Richard Dix is a harmless playboy until trouble calls and with the assistance of Boris Karloff and Paul Hurst he becomes The Reckoner in RKO’s The Public Defender (1931).
Warner Brothers mixes crime and horror in THE WALKING DEAD where mobsters put down Boris Karloff but Edmund Gwenn brings him back to life with a Lindbergh Heart. Karloff’s fine performance highlighted along with some background information about Lindbergh’s “robot heart.”
A look at Warner Brothers’ G MEN (1935) starring James Cagney, this time as the good guy. Based on several real incidents and infamous names, it’s the movie that began the G-Men cycle of films.
Tyrone Power stars as Johnny Apollo (1940) for Henry Hathaway at 20th Century Fox. The film fits nicely between the 1930’s gangster cycle and later film noir. With Dorothy Lamour and Lloyd Nolan.
A look at Kind Lady from origins as Hugh Walpole story The Silver Mask, through Edward Chodorov’s stage adaptation and both film versions, especially the earlier 1935 film starring Aline MacMahon and Basil Rathbone.