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

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Hugh Beaumont and Richard Travis
ROARING CITY (1951). Director: William Berke.

"You couldn't find an ingrown toenail if it was on your left foot." -- O'Brien to Bruger.

Hugh Beaumont had played private eye Michael Shayne in several films when he was cast in another, briefer series playing another tough P.I., Dennis O'Brien; Roaring City is the second of the three films. O'Brien is hired by a manager to place bets against his own boxer, who doesn't take a dive as expected and winds up murdered. Suspected of the crime, O'Brien convinces Inspector Bruger (Richard Travis) of the San Francisco police department that someone else is the guilty party. In the second of two stories, Irma Rand (Joan Valerie of Charlie Chan at the Wax Museum) hires O'Brien to pretend to be the husband of a friend, Sylvia (Wanda McKay), whose hood boyfriend, Rafferty (Anthony Warde) is back in town and looking for trouble. In both cases, O'Brien winds up in dutch because his clients are as shifty as any bad guys, and O'Brien seemingly won't say no when there's money concerned. Roaring City comes off like two TV episodes spliced together. The acting is sufficient, with Warde [The Masked Marvel] especially vivid as the nasty Rafferty. Edward Brophy [Romance on the Run] also makes the most of his role as O'Brien's pal and assistant, the professor. There's too much narration. From Lippert pictures.

Verdict: Watchable, but ultimately quite dull. **.

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