Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tonight's Movie: Tear Gas Squad (1940)

Fun entertainment can sometimes be found in unexpected places -- in this evening's case, a "B" musical with the unlikely name TEAR GAS SQUAD.

TEAR GAS SQUAD is a 55-minute Warner Bros. programmer starring a young Dennis Morgan and John Payne. Morgan plays Tommy, a nightclub singer who is enamoured with a young lady named Jerry (Gloria Dickson). Jerry comes from a family of police officers, so Tommy decides he'll become one too. This doesn't go over well with Tommy's training officer, Bill (John Payne), who is also courting Jerry.

It's an amusing little story which gives Morgan several opportunities to display his fine tenor voice amidst some police action sequences. The film is nothing particularly outstanding, but it does exactly what it sets out to do: entertain its audience for the better part of an hour. It also provides a fun time capsule -- gotta love that "Calling all cars!" barked out by the police dispatcher.

The supporting cast includes familiar faces such as George Reeves, Edgar Buchanan, Mary Gordon, and Herbert Anderson.

TEAR GAS SQUAD, which has also been shown under the title STATE COP, was shot in black and white. It was directed by Terry O. Morse.

TEAR GAS SQUAD can be seen on Turner Classic Movies. It has not had a video or DVD release.

The trailer is here.


Blogger Carrie said...

How'd I miss this one?!

4:54 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I suspect it's kind of obscure (grin)...I recorded it on a TCM John Payne Day a few months back. I couldn't resist the title, and I'm a sucker for Dennis Morgan's smile. :)

Best wishes,

4:58 PM  

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