Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Wanted! Jane Turner (1936) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

Lee Tracy and Gloria Stuart are an engaging detective team in WANTED! JANE TURNER (1936), recently released by the Warner Archive.

I first saw this film last August, and I was so taken with it that I expressed the hope that it would eventually be released on a Warner Archive DVD. Happily I didn't have very long to wait, and I've now enjoyed it all over again thanks to this new release.

Tracy and Stuart start in this quick 66-minute film as Tom Mallory and Doris Martin. Tom and Doris are postal investigators who enjoy a friendly rivalry. They bicker and argue as they work but clearly get a kick out of it; there's some real chemistry between the two.

What's more, they're professional equals, and at movie's end Tom tells his boss that he can count on "the Mallorys" for future investigations. (I wish there had been a sequel!) It's an interesting contrast from the end of the previous year's ORCHIDS TO YOU (1935), viewed last week, which ends with the heroine planning to give up her thriving flower shop for homemaking.

That said, Doris is also a great cook, and Stuart ended up cooking in publicity for the film, seen at right.

In WANTED! JANE TURNER Tom and Doris are on the trail of Phil Crowley (RKO's ubiquitous Paul Guilfoyle), who murdered a mail delivery truck driver. The trail leads from the East Coast to Los Angeles, where they gradually close in on Phil and his henchmen.

The cast includes Frank M. Thomas in a nice part as a general delivery mail clerk. Also in the film are Barbara Pepper, Judith Blake, John McGuire, Irene Franklin, Patricia Wilder, Willard Robertson, and Selmer Jackson. (This is at least the third film I've seen with Jackson in the past week!) Watch for Bess Flowers as a hotel mail clerk.

The movie has some nice L.A. location shooting, plus the film opens in one of RKO's typically gorgeous '30s Art Deco sets, in this case a hotel.

The film also provides some interesting peeks into life as it was in the past, whether it's hotel mail chutes and full-time hotel mail clerks or the passing parade at the general delivery window.

WANTED! JANE TURNER was directed by Edward Killy and filmed by Robert de Grasse. It runs a quick 66 minutes.

The DVD print is fine. There are no extras.

For more on this movie, please visit KC's review at A Classic Movie Blog; she enjoyed it as well and found it "a snappy, high-spirited 66 minute window into what the world would be like if everyone thought of that clever remark before they went home for the night."

Thanks to the Warner Archive for providing a review copy of this DVD. Warner Archive releases are MOD (manufactured on demand) and may be ordered from the Warner Archive Collection at the WBShop or from any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.

2 Comments:

Blogger KC said...

Thanks for the hat tip Laura. I thought this was a cute flick and I enjoyed the banter between the two leads as well. Definitely a nice pick-me-up comedy.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You're welcome! I enjoyed your review. It's such a relatively obscure movie, I'm glad someone else I know has enjoyed it as well. :)

Best wishes,
Laura

9:11 PM  

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