The Live Wire (1935)

the live wire 1935

Richard Talmadge movies are usually fun but this one is a misfire. Scenes go on way too long for a short movie and the storyline isn’t very interesting. Even the stunts are few and far between compared to his other movies. There are a lot of brawls where punches land with no sound. If you’ve never seen a Talmadge movie don’t start with this one. Any of the others are better choices.

Professors Sneed and Harris spot a valuable antique vase and buy it for a cheap price. The shop owner tells them a sailor sold it to him a year ago. Thinking there’s a mate to it the two go in search of Dick Nelson (Richard Talmadge).

Dick has just signed on to be a second mate so they better hurry. In a waterfront saloon he spots the hated Bull Dennis. They can’t be in the same room without brawling. This time is no exception. The cops are on the way and everyone runs out. The bartender-owner drags Dick behind the bar where the cops won’t see him. The place is deserted and they have no choice but to leave.

Sneed and Harris spot Dick outside and he runs off. They offer fifty bucks to anyone who can catch him. Time for an array of Talmadge stunts on roofs and stairs. After a chase Dick is in a boat. He realizes he missed his ship. That gives Sneed a chance to explain about the vase. He offers to double Dick’s salary if he’ll lead them to the island where he found it.

The professors charter a boat from Captain King. He tells his daughter Madge (Alberta Vaughn) she’ll have to stay home. Even Sam the cook (Martin Turner) is going along. With Sam’s help she stows away. She ends up in a cabin with Dick. He is fooled by her disguise and thinks she’s just another sailor. This scene goes on forever. Time to share the bed. She goes out and sleeps in a lifeboat.

The next day Dick discovers the first mate is Bull. He and the Captain also find out about Madge. No harm done…..yet. Bull tries to get the crew to mutiny and ends up in the brig after another brawl.. One of his men tosses a cigarette near three barrels of gasoline while breaking Bull out.

King sights land but the ship blows up. Bull and his men end up looking for shelter on the island while King, Madge,Sneed,Sam and Dick are on the beach. King goes on top of a cliff to set a signal fire while everyone else explores the ruins. Sam doesn’t want to go in because he’s afraid of ghosts.

Dick and Madge finds the vase and Bull and his men find them. Once again it’s time for another soundless brawl. It comes to a predictable end with some real corn to finish it out.

I like Talmadge but this one just sat there.

Alberta Vaughn’s career started in 1921. This was her last movie.



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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