Friday, August 18, 2017

Tonight's Movie: Passkey to Danger (1946)

PASSKEY TO DANGER (1946) is a minor mystery from Republic Pictures.

The story concerns Tex Hanlon (Kane Richmond) and his girlfriend Gwen (Stephanie Bachelor, EXPERIMENT PERILOUS) who are thrown into danger when Tex's advertising campaign is misinterpreted by numerous shady types.

Somehow his ads for the "Three Springs" attract the attention of various criminals -- including three brothers named Spring!

The plot gets so convoluted it's hard to describe it much further, although I noted that Wikipedia makes a yeoman's effort. I think I got lost when the toy puppets entered the picture... Fortunately the film is only 58 minutes!

Bachelor and Adele Mara, playing a woman who says she wants to work with Tex, are the best things in the picture, bright and energetic. It's also easy to track them, whereas there are so many nondescript men in the movie that they're hard to follow; among the crowd only Gerald Mohr stood out for me, thanks to his frequent appearances on my favorite TV series, MAVERICK, which debuted over a decade later.

Mara also appeared on MAVERICK, which was produced by her husband, Roy Huggins.

Richmond had over 100 credits but I must admit he wasn't very memorable either. I have some more of his movies in my collection so we'll see if he makes a stronger impression in the future.

PASSKEY TO DANGER was directed by Lesley Selander, who made many more interesting films in his long career, such as the Rod Cameron Westerns PANHANDLE (1948), STAMPEDE (1949), and SHORT GRASS (1950), not to mention COW COUNTRY (1953), which I'll be revisiting in the near future.

The movie was shot in black and white by William Bradford.

Any movie with Adele Mara is one I need to see, and I also really enjoy checking out "B" movies, which sometimes yield hidden treasures -- but this one is pretty forgettable. Onward to the next movie!


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