Torchy Blane in Chinatown

Last updated
Torchy Blane in Chinatown
Torchy Blane in Chinatown.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by William Beaudine
Produced by Hal B. Wallis
Jack L. Warner
Written byFrederick Nebel
Murray Leinster
Screenplay by George Bricker
Based onThe Purple Hieroglyph by Murray Leinster
Starring Glenda Farrell
Barton MacLane
Music by Howard Jackson
Cinematography Warren Lynch
Edited by Frederick Richards
Production
company
Release date
  • February 4, 1939 (1939-02-04)
Running time
58 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Torchy Blane in Chinatown is a 1939 American crime mystery film directed by William Beaudine and starring Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane. [1] [2] [3] Released on February 4, 1939, it is the seventh film in the Torchy Blane film series by Warner Bros. and is followed by Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939). The rivalry between newspaper reporter Torchy Blane and her boyfriend, Lieutenant Steve McBride, escalates as the two investigate a death threat involving priceless jade tablets.

Contents

Plot

On behalf of Senator Baldwin (Henry O'Neill), the owner of the world's largest Chinese jade collection, detective Steve McBride (Barton MacLane) investigate a death threat involving the priceless jade tablets that were brought to the United States by three adventurers, who are now on the hit list of an oriental gang. A note written in Chinese warns the impending doom at midnight unless a ransom is paid for the valuable jades, which have been stolen. Steve is put on the case to protect the people who were involved in smuggling the jades into the country.

That night, Torchy Blane (Glenda Farrell) joins Steve at the Adventurers Club where he and his assistant Gahagan (Tom Kennedy) are guarding the threatened victims, Fitzhugh, Mr. Mansfield (James Stephenson) and Captain Condon (Patric Knowles). Once midnight has passed, they leave, but Fitzhugh is machine-gunned in his car and killed. A note found in the car warns that Mansfield will be the next to die. He is later found dead after smoking a poisoned cigarette, and his body vanishes mysteriously before the coroner arrives at the crime scene.

Senator Baldwin's daughter Janet Baldwin and her fiancé Dick Staunton, are ordered by the mysterious killer to deliver $250,000 ransom to the last buoy in the New York city harbor. Torchy discovered that Fitzhugh's fingerprints and those of the body in the morgue do not match. She joins Steve in a US Navy submarine as Dick rides out to pay the ransom. At the appointed place, Torchy and Steve surface in the submarine, just in time to save Dick and prove that the murders were all part of an elaborate plot by Fitzhugh, Mansfield, and Condon to extort money from Senator Baldwin.

Cast

Home media

Warner Archive released a boxed set DVD collection featuring all nine Torchy Blane films on March 29, 2011. [4]

Related Research Articles

Glenda Farrell American actress

Glenda Farrell was an American actress. Farrell personified the smart and sassy, wisecracking blonde of the Classical Hollywood films. Farrell's career spanned more than 50 years, appearing in numerous Broadway plays, films and television series. She won an Emmy Award in 1963 for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her performance as Martha Morrison in the medical drama television series Ben Casey.

Barton MacLane Actor, playwright, screenwriter

Barton MacLane was an American actor, playwright, and screenwriter. Although he appeared in many classic films from the 1930s through the 1960s, he became best-known for his role as General Martin Peterson on the 1960s NBC television comedy series I Dream of Jeannie, with Barbara Eden and Larry Hagman.

Torchy Blane

Torchy Blane is a fictional female reporter starring in a series of films in the 1930s. Warner Bros. produced nine films between 1937 and 1939. The Torchy Blane series were popular second features during the later 1930s and were mixtures of mystery, action, adventure, and fun.

Henry ONeill American actor (1891–1961)

Henry O'Neill was an American film actor known for playing gray-haired fathers, lawyers, and similarly dignified roles during the 1930s and 1940s.

Patric Knowles

Reginald Lawrence Knowles was an English film actor who renamed himself Patric Knowles. Born in Horsforth, West Riding of Yorkshire, he made his film debut in 1932, and played either first or second film leads throughout his career. He appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Tom Kennedy (actor)

Tom Kennedy was an American actor known for his roles in Hollywood comedies from the silent days, with such producers as Mack Sennett and Hal Roach, mainly supporting lead comedians such as the Marx Brothers, W. C. Fields, Mabel Normand, Shemp Howard, Laurel and Hardy, and the Three Stooges. Kennedy also played dramatic roles as a supporting actor.

Frank Shannon

Francis Connolly Shannon, better known as Frank Shannon, was an Irish actor and writer.

<i>The Perfect Specimen</i> 1937 film by Michael Curtiz

The Perfect Specimen is a 1937 film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn and Joan Blondell. The picture is based on a novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams.

<i>Prison Break</i> (film) 1938 film by Arthur Lubin

Prison Break is a 1938 American crime-drama film directed by Arthur Lubin and starring Barton MacLane, Glenda Farrell and Paul Hurst.

<i>Smart Blonde</i> 1937 film by Frank McDonald

Smart Blonde is a 1937 American mystery film directed by Frank McDonald. Starring Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane, a fast-talking wisecracking female reporter, teaming up with her boyfriend detective Steve McBride, to solve the killing of an investor who just bought a popular local nightclub. The first of nine Torchy Blane films by Warner Bros, it was released on January 2, 1937. The film is followed by Fly-Away Baby (1937).

<i>Fly-Away Baby</i> 1937 film by Frank McDonald

Fly-Away Baby is a 1937 American crime-mystery film starring Glenda Farrell as reporter Torchy Blane, along with her detective boyfriend, Steve McBride solving a murder and smuggling case during around-the-world flight.

<i>Torchy Gets Her Man</i> 1938 film by William Beaudine

Torchy Gets Her Man is a 1938 American comedy-drama film directed by William Beaudine and starring Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane and Barton MacLane as Detective Steve McBride. It was released on November 12, 1938. It is the sixth film in a series of Torchy Blane films by Warner Bros. The film is followed by Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939).

<i>Murder Will Out</i> (1930 film) 1930 film

Murder Will Out is a 1930 American Pre-Code mystery film with songs produced and released by First National Pictures and directed by Clarence G. Badger. The movie stars Jack Mulhall, Lila Lee and features Noah Beery and Malcolm McGregor. The film was based on the short story The Purple Hieroglyph by Murray Leinster writing as Will F. Jenkins, which was published in Snappy Stories on March 1, 1920.

<i>The Spellbinder</i>

The Spellbinder is a 1939 American drama film directed by Jack Hively, written by Thomas Lennon and Joseph Fields, and starring Lee Tracy, Barbara Read, Patric Knowles, Allan Lane and Linda Hayes. It was released on July 28, 1939, by RKO Pictures.

<i>The Adventurous Blonde</i> 1937 film by Frank McDonald

The Adventurous Blonde is a 1937 American romantic comedy film directed by Frank McDonald and written by Robertson White and David Diamond. The film stars Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane. It was released on November 13, 1937. This is the third film in the Torchy Blane movie series by Warner Bros. and is followed by Blondes at Work (1938).

<i>Blondes at Work</i> 1938 film by Frank McDonald

Blondes at Work is a 1938 American police comedy film directed by Frank McDonald and written by Albert DeMond. The film stars Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane. It is the fourth film in a series of Torchy Blane movies by Warner Bros, and, in a departure from other films in the series, focuses on the actions undertaken by Torchy Blane to evade the efforts of Lieutenant Steve McBride to keep her from using inside information to "scoop" rival newspapers on the progress of police investigations. It was released on February 6, 1938. The film is followed by Torchy Blane in Panama (1938).

<i>Torchy Blane in Panama</i> 1938 film by William Clemens

Torchy Blane in Panama is a 1938 American mystery film directed by William Clemens and starring Lola Lane, Paul Kelly, and Tom Kennedy. Released on May 7, 1938, the fifth film in a series of Torchy Blane movies by Warner Bros. It is followed by Torchy Gets Her Man (1938). Torchy, Steve, and Gahagan are on the trail of a bank robber aboard an ocean liner traveling from New York to Los Angeles via the Panama Canal.

<i>Torchy Runs for Mayor</i> 1939 film by Ray McCarey

Torchy Runs for Mayor is a 1939 American drama-comedy film directed by Ray McCarey. It is the eighth film in the Torchy Blane film series by Warner Bros., and the last film starring Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane as Torchy Blane and Steve McBride. It was released on May 13, 1939. The film is followed by Torchy Blane... Playing with Dynamite (1939).

<i>Torchy Blane... Playing with Dynamite</i> 1939 film by Noel M. Smith

Torchy Blane... Playing with Dynamite is a 1939 American drama film directed by Noel M. Smith, written by Earle Snell and Charles Belden, and starring Jane Wyman, Allen Jenkins, and Tom Kennedy. It was released on August 12, 1939. It is the final film in a series of nine Torchy Blane movies by Warner Bros. The first film, Smart Blonde, was released in 1937.

<i>The Purple Cipher</i> 1920 silent film

The Purple Cipher is a 1920 American silent mystery film directed by Chester Bennett and starring Earle Williams, Vola Vale and Ernest Shields. Shot by Vitagraph at the company's Brooklyn studios, it was based on the short story The Purple Hieroglyph by Murray Leinster. The story was adapted twice more in the sound era as Murder Will Out (1930) and Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939).

References

  1. "Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1938)". All Movie. Retrieved September 30, 2016.
  2. "Torchy Blane in Chinatown (1939)". British Film Institute. Retrieved February 22, 2016.
  3. "MOVIE REVIEW: Robert Sherwood's 'Idiot's Delight' Opens at Capitol --'Torchy Blane in Chinatown' Offered at Palace". The New York Times. February 3, 1939. Retrieved February 26, 2016.
  4. KEHR, DAVE (May 7, 2010). "The Torchy Blane Collection". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2016.