Big-city mouthpiece Richard Dix seeks to bring his brother’s killers to justice in a Nevada mining town in Special Investigator, a 1936 RKO “B” entry based on an Erle Stanley Gardner story.
One of James Cagney’s classic gangster movies, The Roaring Twenties (1939) also boasts an especially nasty Humphrey Bogart in its cast, plus strong work from Gladys George. Post includes background about writer Mark Hellinger, real-life roaring twenties personalities Larry Fay and Texas Guinan, plus a look at a pre-Code predecessor Broadway Thru a Keyhole (1933).
Lightning review takes brief look at RKO Western The Arizonian (1935) starring Richard Dix, Margot Grahame, and Preston Foster, directed by Charles Vidor.
One of three pre-Code titles directed by temperamental Rowland Brown, Blood Money (1933) stars George Bancroft as a bail bondsman to the underworld with Frances Dee as a young kleptomaniac with an “underworld mania” and a desire for a strong man to dominate her. Feature debut for Judith Anderson.
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.”
MGM’s baseball murder mystery Death on the Diamond (1934) stars Robert Young and Madge Evans. A decent mystery and a strong baseball movie at the same time. Directed by Edward Sedgwick and also featuring David Landau, Paul Kelly, Nat Pendleton and Ted Healy.