Paradise Express (1937)

paradise express 1937

Dorothy Appleby is a charmer but Harry Davenport is just about impossible to take as a fist pounding, yelling irascible old man in the story of a crooked trucking firm about to put a small railroad out of business.

Jed Carson (Harry Davenport) has no choice but to file for bankruptcy as the Armstrong Trucking Company is driving his railroad out of business. Lawrence Doyle (Grant Withers) is appointed as receiver. His cost cutting measures have cost a lot of jobs. Now two more employees, an engineer, Tom Wilson, and a fireman are told their jobs are history.

Doyle and Carson’s niece Kay (Dorothy Appleby) go out to talk to farmers to try and get their business back. It’s the usual situation that starts with a misunderstanding before the two start falling for each other. They convince two farmers to give them another try.

One farmer has a load of tomatoes and the other lettuce. Each has a boxcar nearby to load up. That night Armstrong sends one of his boys, Stymie, to do some sabotage. One load is sprayed with gasoline and the other is sent down the track and wrecked.

Things get worse for Larry as Armstrong tells Jed that he’s the one who had Larry appointed as receiver. Larry gets a new ruling from the ICC that the railroad can meet the trucking company’s lower rates. The Farmer’s Cooperatives has a lucrative contract up for grabs. Larry has Tom try and break a speed record to the town of Paradise so they can get the contract. Once again sabotage gets the train wrecked and Tom and the fireman killed. The town blames Larry for using old equipment. The mob comes after Larry but Jed stands up for him and everyone calms down.

Jed can’t present a contract to the Cooperative. Only Larry can do that since the line is in receivership. To prevent Larry from getting to the meeting Armstrong has his main man Stymie kidnap him and lock him in a train that’s on its way out of town. Larry manages to escape and get to the meeting. He convinces the farmers to award the contract to the winner of a race between the train and the trucks. Armstrong has a few more tricks up his sleeve.

This would have been an okay movie but Davenport’s over the top character is just too much.

If Dorothy Appleby looks familiar that’s because she was in a number of the Three Stooges comedies.

Dorothy Appleby

Dorothy Appleby




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The Real…Benny Goodman-The Ultimate Benny Goodman Collection 3 CD’s

CD 1
01. Six Flats Unfurnished [03:17]
02. Lets Dance [02:35]
03. Flying Home [03:17]
04. Good Enough To Keep (Air Mail Special) [02:55]
05. A Smooooth One [03:19]
06. Scarecrow [03:04]
07. Clarinet A La King [02:54]
08. Jersey Bounce [02:55]
09. Mission To Moscow [02:38]
10. Body And Soul [02:59]
11. After You’ve Gone [02:32]
12. Liza (All The Clouds’ll Roll Away) [02:58]
13. King Porter Stomp [02:55]
14. Down South Camp Meetin [03:02]
15. South Of The Border Down (Mexico Way) [03:11]
16. Wrappin It Up [03:11]
17. Dont Be That Way [04:14]
18. The Man I Love [03:35]
19. I Got Rhythm [04:53]
20. Honeysuckle Rose (Live) [16:44]

CD 2
01. Bugle Call Rag [03:00]
02. Cabin In The Sky [03:18]
03. I See A Million People [02:44]
04. Big John’s Special [03:08]
05. Get Happy [03:08]
06. Thats The Way It Goes [03:09]
07. Superman [04:34]
08. How Deep Is The Ocean [03:06]
09. Oh Baby [08:46]
10. There’s A Small Hotel [02:31]
11. You Turned The Tables On Me [02:50]
12. Not A Care In The World [03:23]
13. It Never Entered My Mind [03:00]
14. Taking A Chance On Love [03:10]
15. Let’s Do It [02:03]
16. How Long Has This Been Going On [03:16]
17. Sing Sing Sing With A Swing [12:04]
18. Not Mine [03:19]
19. Moonglow [03:13]
20. Rose Room [02:50]

CD 3
01. Bewitched [03:23]
02. Amapola [03:02]
03. I’m Nobody’s Baby [02:46]
04. When Buddha Smiles [03:12]
05. Goody Goody [02:32]
06. Can’t Teach My Old Heart New Tricks (From ‘Hollywood Hotel’) [03:05]
07. Wholly Cats [03:05]
08. Busy As A Bee (I’m Buzz, Buzz, Buzzin’) [03:13]
09. Rachel’s Dream [02:55]
10. Ridin’ High [02:39]
11. Somebody Nobody Loves [03:22]
12. Sunny Disposish [02:11]
13. Sweet Leilani [02:15]
14. Everything I Love [03:05]
15. Roll ‘Em [04:17]
16. Life Goes To A Party [03:44]
17. Avalon [04:14]
18. Swingtime In The Rockies [02:32]
19. The Fable Of The Rose [03:11]
20. My Gal Sal [03:56]
21. Stealin’ Apples [05:33]
22. Winter Weather [03:02]
23. I Thought About You [02:34]
24. What’s The Matter With Me [03:05]

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The Bridge Of Sighs (1936)

Onslow Stevens

Onslow Stevens

Dull one about an innocent man in prison and the woman determined to get him out. There’s nothing interesting to latch on to. All concerned just go through the motions.

Assistant D.A. Jeff Powell (Onslow Stevens) wants to marry Marion Courtney (Dorothy Tree). He doesn’t know that she has a detective agency looking for her brother. At a nightclub Jeff shows her a ring he got for her. She tells him not yet.

Jeff leaves for a moment and in walks Harry West (Paul Fix). Marion spots him and of course it’s her brother. He tells her he’ll talk to her later as he joins a table that includes Neselli, a gambler he’s in debt to. Also there are henchmen Arny Norman, Packy Lacy (Jack La Rue) and moll Evelyn Thane (Mary Doran).

Harry wants to get a chance to get into another game but it’s not going to happen. They all leave and Neselli is killed by Arny. He hides the gun in Evelyn’s purse. Harry is arrested and tried for murder. He’s comvicted and gets the death penalty. At the trial Evelyn testifies that she had the gun and Harry’s lawyer demands she be charged with having the murder weapon. She’s found guilty and gets a year in the big house.

Marion leaves a note for Jeff that she had to leave town and will be in touch later. She uses the name Mary Court and gets into the prison and becomes Evelyn’s cellmate. There’s no clue as to what crime she committed or how she pulled it off. Arny sets up a prison break for Evelyn and Marion goes along. They all end up at a country hideout. Also there is the dimwitted Tommy who says Mary (Marion) looks familiar but he can’t remember where he saw her before. Lester sells taffy and was on the street outside the club and saw it all. He’s also in the hideout.

Jeff and Homicide Captain P.G.Otheron get a tip and head for the hideout. They hide in a barn and set when Arnry leaves that gives them a chance to set up a microphone inside the house. Arny returns and Evelyn has about had it with his moves on Mary (Marion).

The movie makes no sense and has plot holes you can drive a truck through. It’s a total waste of time.


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Take The “A” Train-Betty Roche (1956)

[3:10] 1. Take The A Train
[4:00] 2. Something To Live For
[2:26] 3. In A Mellow Tone
[3:01] 4. Time After Time
[3:14] 5. Go Away Blues
[3:37] 6. Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
[4:32] 7. Route 66
[3:45] 8. All My Life
[2:36] 9. I Just Got The Message Baby
[4:04] 10. All Too Soon
[3:15] 11. You Don’t Love Me No More
[3:48] 12. September In The Rain

Conte Candoli/Trumpet; Eddie Costa/Vibraphone; Whitey Mitchell/Bass; Donn Trenner/Piano; Davey Williams/Drums; Betty Roche/Vocal

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Letter Of Introduction (1938)

letter of introduction 1938

If you’re not an Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy fan keep going. If you are you’ll like this movie. It’s a combination of drama and comedy with a good supporting performance from Eve Arden. Adolphe Menjou is also very good. A budding actress has a letter of introduction to a top actor. He’ll be surprised.

It’s New Year’s Eve and a fire breaks out in a rooming house for aspiring actors and actresses. Kay Martin (Andrea Leeds) wants to go in and get a letter of introduction to Hollywood star John Mannering (Adolphe Menjou). Charging in to help her out is the resident of a home across the street. He’s Barry Paige (George Murphy). They get the letter and she moves into the rooming house where Barry lives.

At a New Year’s Eve party she meets residents Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Barry’s dance team partner Honey and actress Cora (Eve Arden). It’s easy to see that sparks are igniting between Barry and Kay. Honey and Barry have been a team for five years and she’s a bit put out but still helps Kay adjust to the house.

Kay goes to see Mannering and give him the letter. It’s from Kay’s late mother. He’s surprised to find out Kay is his daughter. They decide to keep it to themselves. That causes the break up of his engagement with Lydia Hoyt (Ann Sheridan). Since Barry doesn’t have a clue as to the real story he makes a fool of himself at Mannering’s apartment. He and Kay planned to get married but that’s over. Barry proposes to Honey and accepts out of town dates for their act.

Kay is known as Mannering’s protege. At a party with the upper crust of society Edgar Bergen does over ten minutes with Charlie and Mortimer Snerd. Mannering’s friend Lou Woodstock (Johnathan Hale) wants Mannering to star in his play along with Kay. Mannering says he’s been away from Broadway for ten years and hesitates but finally decides to do it.

He tells Kay that during the curtain calls he’ll announce who she really is. Now it’s opening night. The movie drops the comedy and goes into some melodrama.

This is a good movie but it does have a lot of Bergen-McCarthy throughout and after a while it gets to be too much.  Still it’s worth seeing if you’re looking for a good drama.


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Counterspy (Failed TV Pilot 1958)

Don Megowan

Don Megowan

Don Megowan stars as American counterespionage agent David Harding.

A huge Russian battleship is able to negotiate Oslo harbor without a pilot. Harding thinks there’s some kind of super secret navigational gizmo at work and he has to know what it is. He sends agent Keller to England to hire a diver to check it out. The ship is on its way to England for a goodwill visit. Keller hires local diver Terrence Finn to take pictures.

On board ship Admiral Gihis is bragging to Dr.Jasny about his sneaky device. He has TV cameras on the hull that watch for enemy divers. By using sound he can paralyze anyone to the hull until his dive team gets there. Then they’ll take the haplass frogman to the bottom and make his death look like accidental oxygen poisoning.

Finn’s wife doesn’t want him to do it. He laughs off her worries and tells Keller he’s ready. The next day Harding arrives in London and he and Keller go to a party at the Soviet embassy to meet the Admiral. Harding gets a big surprise when the Admiral arranges for everyone to tour the ship. He tells Keller to race to Portsmouth to stop Finn. He can do the dive tomorrow.

Keller spots Finn about to dive but his ears are covered and he doesn’t hear Keller yell for him to stop. On board the ship a sailor whispers something to the Admiral. He has the doctor take everyone to another room to put on the feedbag. Outside the room Harding stays behind and spots the TV set up. He sees Finn is trapped. Now it’s up to him.

I was surprised that the last line of the show was so nasty. The opening shows a little girl running to the ocean off Brighton and seeing a dead frogman. The closing has narration saying it was eight days later when the body was discovered. Then he says “It’s only a Navy frogman.” What? I thought the show had some potential but after that line I’m glad it failed.

Megowan comes on plugging next week’s show. He didn’t have a clue there wouldn’t be a next week.

Don Megowan appeared in several episodes of “Gunsmoke” and “Death Valley Days” playing different characters. He starred in the 1962 series “The Beachcomber” as Captain Huckabee.

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Speak Easily (1932)

Buster Keaton-Thelma Todd

Buster Keaton-Thelma Todd

Keaton and Durante fans won’t be disappointed as Buster gets involved with a show featuring Jimmy. A real highlight of this movie is Thelma Todd. She’s just great as a goddigger that’s after Buster.

Professor Timoleon Zanders Post (Buster Keaton) has no life. He doesn’t go anywhere and he’s not even invited to go anywhere. His butler Jenkins tells him to go out and experience life. Post says he can’t afford to. Then Jenkins gives him a letter. Post has inherited 750-thousand dollars. That’s what it takes and he withdraws his savings and heads out.

At a train station he runs across a vaudeville troupe run by Reno (Edward Brophy). Post becomes friends with comedian Jimmy Dodd (Jimmy Durante) and becomes smitten with dancer Pansy Peets (Ruth Selwyn). She’s being watched over by her mother (Hedda Hopper).

Post gets stranded at the next train station and decides to see the show. He’s the only one applauding and the twenty-eight person audience walks out at the end without responding. He decides to take the show to Broadway It’ll be called “Speak Easily.” He doesn’t know it but back at the college Jenkins admits to the Dean that the inheritance letter was a phony he wrote to get Post to experience life. The Dean tells him he did the right thing.

Rehearsals start with director Rayburn (Sidney “Charlie Chan” Toler). He’s more than upset at the troupe’s lack of talent. He hires bombshell Eleanor Espere (Thelma Todd). Thinking Post is rich she tells him it’s a theater custom that the show backer gets a key to the stars’ apartment.  That night she gets him to come over. She puts on something more comfortable. Post gets tipsy and falls asleep. The next morning he wakes up next to Eleanor. Thanks to Jimmy’s quick thinking he gets Post out of that situation. That’s a good thing because Post and Pansy are getting a lot closer.

Now a lawyer shows up. The show is ten grand in debt. If it isn’t paid there’ll be no opening night. The money has to come from Post. Jimmy puts him in a cab and tells the driver to take him to New Jersey to avoid bill collectors. Now it’s showtime and Post returns.

Buster goes through his physical comedy routines. Nothing you haven’t seen before. Durante is also good. The movie is fun but should be seen for Thelma Todd. The scene in her apartment with Buster is a real highlight.

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