Midnight Taxi (1937)

midnight taxi 1937

The good old stuff. It’s the Feds vs. the counterfeiters as one agent goes undercover as a taxi driver.

A reporter is killed just before he can name Mr.Big in the counterfeiting racket. He’s run off the road by cab driver Lucky Todd (Harold Huber). Lucky makes it look like he was the one that was hit. Lucky is believed and goes back to work. One night he’s told to deliver a package of phony bills. His cab won’t start and he gets his friend and fellow driver Chick Gardner (Brian Donlevy) to do it for him.

Chick comes back and tells Lucky he was followed by the cops and tossed the package into a sewer. The cops take Chick and Lucky to the station. One cop runs out of patience with Chick and slugs him and leads him to the back room. Lucky is released.

Turns out it was all faked for Lucky’s benefit.  Chick messed with Lucky’s distributor. Chick is actually a T-Man. Later on Chick slugs Lucky for allowing him to carry the package without being paid. Their boss, Philip Strickland is impressed by Chick and has him drive to a delivery. Lucky is upset and tries to hijack them. Strickland guns him down. Strickland hires Chick as his new district manager.

Strickland’s cover is an antique shop. His sales woman is Gilda Lee (Frances Drake). Strickland’s assistant Flash Dillion (Gilbert Roland) has designs on Gilda but she can’t stand him. Gilda gets Chick to take her to dinner. She gives a chance to double cross Strickland and skim some money. He turns her down and Strickland is convinced he’s got the right guy.  Flash isn’t ready to buy Chick as a right guy.

Mr.Big orders Strickland to pick up a new shipment. It’s near a buoy and Chick and Flash are to pick up two other guys and take a boat for the pick up. Gilda is parked on shore. On the way Chick speeds so the cops will pull him over. He writes a message on his driver’s license that instructs the cop to call McNeary of the Secret Service.

The pick up goes well and Gilda is signaled from the boat and she signals back everything is okay. The cops are waiting and bullets fly. Everyone gets away. Gilda and Chick get away in her car but not before Chick get a bullet in his shoulder.

There’s some good action to come.  The ending isn’t the most believable but the filmmakers must have been told to tack on a quick feel good wrap up. No matter. This is still well worth checking out.

Lon Chaney,Jr. and Regis Toomey have bit parts.

Brian Donlevy and Harold Huber talk business

Brian Donlevy and Harold Huber talk business

 

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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