Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

TOUGH TO HANDLE

"Do you come here often?" Kane Richmond; Johnston White
TOUGH TO HANDLE (1937). Director: S. Roy Luby.

Grandpa Sanford (Burr Caruth) is delighted to learn that he has a winning ticket in the Irish sweepstakes, but concerned to discover that his number is associated with another person's name. Grandpa has, unfortunately, been sold a phony ticket, and when the crooks try to get it back from him they give him a fatal heart attack. Reporter Joe MacIntire (Kane Richmond) suspects nightclub owner Tony Franco (Harry Worth) of being behind the phony ticket racket, but Sanford's grandson, Mike (Frankie Darro) and his sister Gloria (Phyllis Fraser), both of whom work for Franco, don't want to believe their benefactor could be such a skunk. Johnston White plays a drunk in the nightclub who gives Joe pause when he asks him if "he comes here often" and has quite a few tricks up his sleeve. Franco reports to a sinister unseen figure who gives him his orders, and has a jealous girlfriend, Myra (Betty Burgess), whom Joe happily romances for info, although Gloria is his girl. The actors give their all to this B material, with Darro his usual effervescent self, and Burgess especially snappy and attractive. Richmond is as handsome and stalwart as ever and White is terrific. Burgess had presence, looks, and talent but she only made five pictures.

Verdict: Minor but has a few surprises. **1/2.

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