Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tonight's Movie: Come On Danger! (1932)

I love to explore lesser-known movies, as more often than not my viewing is rewarded with interesting discoveries, and sometimes I find absolute gems.

And then there's COME ON DANGER! (1932), an RKO Western starring Tom Keene, which unfortunately is about as creaky as they come.

I was curious about Keene, as TCM will be honoring him with a day this October, plus, under the name Richard Powers, he played a supporting role in the last Lawrence Tierney "B" film I watched, SAN QUENTIN (1946).

I hope Keene's other Westerns are stronger, as I think a high school drama class could probably have done more with the dialogue in this film than the cast, which included Julie Haydon and Roscoe Ates (billed as Rosco). The screenplay by David Lewis and Lester Ifeld isn't very good, but it would have helped a lot if the actors were more natural. Some of the line readings in this one define "awkward."

A couple of tuneful Western songs provide rare high points in 54 long minutes.

The film will be of some interest to fans of George O'Brien and Tim Holt, as the story by Bennett Cohen was loosely remade with O'Brien in RKO's THE RENEGADE RANGER (1938), with Holt in a supporting role, and then it was remade again by the studio as COME ON DANGER (1942), with Holt in the leading role. Both remakes used different screenwriters.

COME ON DANGER! was directed by Robert F. Hill and shot by the great Nicholas Musuraca. There's quite a bit of outdoor filming at Southern California movie ranches.

COME ON DANGER! was recently shown on Turner Classic Movies.


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