The Chance Of A Lifetime (1943)

the chance of a lifetime 1943

Sixth and weakest entry in the fourteen film series starring Chester Morris, George E.Stone and Richard Lane. Way too much slapstick. This series has its share of screwball moments but this one goes over the top after a serious start. Also returning for a brief appearance is Cy Kendall as Blackie’s pal and pawn shop owner Jumbo Madigan. Lloyd Corrigan returns as Blackie’s millionaire lawyer friend Arthur Manleder. Walter Sands is the dimwitted Sgt.Matthews.

Blackie is trying to convince the Governor to parole a group of cons in his custody so they can work in Arthur’s tool and die plant and help the war effort. Inspector Farraday (Richard Lane) thinks they should serve their full sentences. Blackie gets his way and is held responsible for them. The Runt (George E.Stone) isn’t sure about Dooley Watson. He and two others pulled off a robbery and the sixty grand they got is missing. Dooley never identified them and is taking the rap. He’s been in stir four years and Blackie gets permission to allow him to see his wife and young son.

Farraday inspects the plant. The Runt is covering for Dooley who hasn’t shown up yet. Farraday catches on. Meanwhile at Dooley’s apartment his partners in crime, Red and Nails (Douglas Fowley) show up. They’ve rented the apartment upstairs until Dooley was released. Now they want their cut.

Before they showed up Dooley’s wife convinced him to turn the money in and hid it in a stuffed dog belonging to their son. Red pulls a gun and he and Dooley battle it out until the gun goes off killing Red. Blackie shows up and he and The Runt grab Red’s body to take upstairs. Farraday and Matthews show up. To save everyone from going back to prison Blackie gives Farraday the money and confesses to killing Red.

Now there’s a ton of slapstick as Blackie escapes a number of times and there’s the usual sequence where he and The Runt disguise themselves to fool the cops. One time is when they search Nails and Reds apartment another is at the police station. There’s a confrontation with Nails at Jumbo’s pawn shop.

All’s well that ends well but there’s even more slapstick to come. If you’re looking for a mystery story this isn’t the one to see. Look fast, real fast, for character actor Sid Melton as one of the cons.

 

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About vintage45

I'm a big fan of vintage books,movies,TV shows and music. I encourage everyone to patronize your local used book/record store and pick up some of the good stuff. My posts are capsule reviews of some favorites that you may want to investigate. The albums posted aren't really reviews but items from my collection that are still available. I try and point out highlights of each one and let the music speak for itself. Thanks to all for checking out the blog.
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