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

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Frankie Darro and Mantan Moreland
ON THE SPOT (1940). Director: Howard Bretherton.

Frankie Kelly (Frankie Darro), a soda jerk in a drug store with an eye on becoming a doctor, and his buddy Jefferson (Mantan Moreland) are in the store when a dying gangster with a bullet in him comes in and tries to impart information before expiring. Everyone -- townspeople, cops and crooks alike -- thinks the fellows were told where the dead man stashed some loot, but they actually know nuthin'. When another mobster is shot in the drug store, Frankie makes up his mind to find out who the killer is. John St. Polis is the "doc" who owns the drug store, and Mary Kornman is his daughter, Ruth. Maxine Leslie plays a lady investigator who gets a room in Frankie's house, making Ruth slightly jealous. I could swear that's Tristram Coffin in the role of her boss, but he is neither credited nor listed on In any case, Darrro and Moreland are as likable and professional as ever, but this very minor poverty row movie is pretty much a waste of time. The two actors did a whole series of similar films for Monogram studios.

Verdict: Darro and Moreland always make a good team, but ... **.

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