Sunday, June 26, 2016

Tonight's Movie: Dinky (1935) - A Warner Archive DVD Review

DINKY (1935) is an enjoyable family film from the Warner Archive.

DINKY stars Jackie Cooper and Mary Astor. My interest in seeing it was initially snagged by the thought that a film with Mary Astor is usually a film worth seeing!

Astor plays Martha Harris, an executive secretary whose son, the unfortunately nicknamed Dinky (Cooper), boards at a military academy.

Martha is framed by her boss to take the fall for his embezzlement, and when she's sent to jail for two years, her attorney Tom (Roger Pryor) arranges for Dinky to think his mother is temporarily working in Chicago.

Thanks to some fellow students who are unkind snobs, Dinky learns the truth about his mother's situation. Dinky gets the full story from Tom, after which Dinky decides he'd prefer to move from the academy to the orphanage next door, where he's made friends and feels more welcome.

Tom and the kind head of the academy (Henry Daniell) arrange for Dinky to write his mother on school stationery so she'll be happy thinking he's still at the academy. The end result is that both Dinky and his mother try to fool each other about where they are. Everyone means well, but the movie perhaps illustrates the old maxim about honesty being the best policy.

Fortunately Tom is working hard to clear Martha's name, and I'm sure it's no surprise that all comes right at the end of 65 minutes.

DINKY is a well-paced, entertaining little movie, with the prison storyline adding some contrasting spice to all the kids in the picture.

The movie is enjoyable thanks especially to pros like Astor, Cooper, and Daniell. Pryor was always a rather bland actor, but his appearances in this film are welcome, as his character is invariably kind and helpful.

The children in the movie include Edith Fellows and a very young Richard Quine. Fellows is such a natural, I wished she'd had the larger role of Dinky's crush, played by Betty Jean Hainey.

This Warner Bros. movie was directed by Howard Bretherton and D. Ross Lederman. It was filmed in black and white by Arthur Edeson.

The Warner Archive DVD looks fine. There are no extras.

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.


Blogger Unknown said...

Marching scenes were filmed at Army and Navy Academy in Pacific Beach, San Diego before it was sold to John Brown and became Brown Military Academy in 1937.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you very much for that great info! Always love to learn about movie locations, especially those in Southern California.

Best wishes,

12:32 PM  

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