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Torchy Blane Collection [5 Discs] [DVD]

Release Date:04/06/2010

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    Torchy Blane in Chinatown
    Number seven in Warner Bros.' "Torchy Blaine" series was Torchy Blaine in Chinatown, with Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane returning as fast-talking gal reporter Torchy and her ever-lovin' police lieutenant boyfriend Steve McBride. Actually, there's very little of Chinatown in the storyline, which deals with trio of (apparently) Chinese jade smugglers/extortionists. Torchy suspects that two recent murders were phonies, and sets about to prove it, thereby stumbling upon the smugglers (who turn out to be Caucasians) and nearly getting herself murdered for real. As usual, Steve McBride is around to rescue our heroine when the going gets tough, with dumb sergeant Gahagan (Tom Kennedy) offering no help whatsoever. Torchy Blane in Chinatown was a remake of the obscure 1930 mystery Murder Will Out, which starred Jack Mulhall and Lila Lee. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Smart Blonde
    As originally conceived by detective novelist Frederick Nebel, hotshot girl reporter Torchy Blaine was a male news-hound named Kennedy. For the purpose of Warner Bros.' Smart Blonde, the character's name and gender was changed -- thereby inaugurating one of the most popular and enjoyable movie series of the 1930s. Glenda Farrell, she of the mile-a-minute mouth, was an inspired choice for Torchy Blaine, while burly Barton MacLane was equally well cast as Torchy's boyfriend-nemesis, police lieutenant Steve McBride. In this first series entry, the only one actually based on a Nebel story, Torchy and Steve join forces to solve -- what else? -- a baffling murder case. McBride thinks that crook-gone-straight Tom Carney (Craig Reynolds) is the guilty party, but Torchy determines that the killing was the handiwork of one of Tom's old underworld cronies. It takes a second murder for McBride to admit that Torchy is right as usual. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Blondes at Work
    Blondes at Work is number four in Warner Bros.' lively "Torchy Blane" series. Glenda Farrell returns as girl reporter Torchy Blane, she of the mile-a-minute mouth, while Barton MacLane is back as Torchy's boyfriend/sparring partner, police lieutenant Steve McBride. The story revolves around Torchy's ability to constantly out-scoop her rival newshounds, thanks to tips inadvertently dropped by the loquacious McBride and his stupid assistant Gahagan (Tom Kennedy). Things come to a head when Torchy tries to get the low-down on a sensational murder case involving suspected husband-killer Louise Revelle (Rosella Towne). If the plot twists in Blondes at Work seem familiar, it's because the film is a remake of the 1935 Bette Davis vehicle Front Page Woman. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Fly-Away Baby
    This is the second entry in the Torch Blane reporter series. In this episode, ace reporter Torchy, wanting to impress her beau the police lieutenant, begins looking into a notorious murder. She gets a hot tip, boards a plane and sets off to follow up. She is accompanied by two rival journalists. En route, it is discovered that one of them is the murderer. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

    Torchy Runs for Mayor
    Torchy Runs for Mayor stars Glenda Farrell as fast-lipped newspaper reporter Torchy Blaine. In possession of a crooked political boss' "little red book" of crimes and misdemeanors, Torchy can't convince any of the newspapers in her city to print the contents. She has to rely on a small-town weekly, The South End Blotter, to convey the evidence against the ward heeler. The revelations result in a recall election for mayor. Torchy's city editor (Barton MacLaine), angered at her defection to the Blotter, jokingly enters Torchy's name as a mayoral candidate. She wins, but not before the small-town editor is murdered and the political boss is blown up in one of his own booby traps. Torchy Runs for Mayor is the eighth in Warner Bros' series of B-films based on characters created by Frederick Nebel. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Torchy Plays with Dynamite
    Torchy Plays with Dynamite was the final entry in Warner Bros.' "Torchy Blane" series, based on characters created by Frederick Nebel. Taking over from series star Glenda Farrell, Jane Wyman imitates Farrell to the nth degree, right down to the mile-a-minute dialogue delivery and the angle of her hat. Hoping to get the goods on gangster Denver Eddie (Eddie Marr), intrepid girl reporter Torchy Blane (Wyman) gets herself arrested and thrown into the same prison with Eddie's gun moll Jackie McGuire (Sheila Bromley). All this effort is aimed at winning Torchy's detective boyfriend Steve McBride (Allen Jenkins) a promotion, but it nearly winds up with our heroine pushing up daisies. According to the opening credits, the film's official title is Torchy Blane?Playing With Dynamite. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    The Adventurous Blonde
    In their third crime-solving adventure, smart-aleck newspaper woman Torchy Blane (Glenda Farrell) and slightly dense homicide dick Steve McBride (Barton MacLane) are about to get hitched when Torchy's reporter friends pull a practical joke on them. As a wedding present, the harebrained newsboys hire a stage actor, Harvey Hammond (Leland Hodgson), to simulate a murder victim. But when Torchy and Steve arrive at the scene of the supposed crime, Hammond has been killed for real. Suspects, of course, abound, including Hammond's fellow thespians Hugo Brand (Anderson Lawlor) and Grace Brown (Anne Nagel), whose romance the actor had tried to destroy. Even more suspicious to Torchy are Hammond's long-suffering wife (Virginia Brissac), and his socialite mistress (a surprisingly brunette Natalie Moorhead). With little help from Steve and his even dumber sergeant, Gahagan (Tom Kennedy), Torchy sets a trap for the killer. Produced by Warner Bros.'s busy B-unit, The Adventurous Blonde was acted at breakneck speed by a justly famous stock company, who, as always, nearly managed to make a hackneyed plot seem fresh and new. Torchy herself was ostensibly based on reporter Dorothy Kilgallen and had begun her crime-solving career in Smart Blonde (1937). Eight more Torchy films were made, but Farrell and MacLane were replaced by Lola Lane and Paul Kelly in Torchy in Panama (1938), the seventh entry, and by Jane Wyman and Allen Jenkins in the final, Torchy Plays With Dynamite (1939). By then, then series had more than run its course. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

    Torchy Gets Her Man
    In this entry in the "Torchy Blane" series, the plucky young reporter tries to expose a ring of counterfeiters led by a man pretending to be a G-man assigned to investigate the case. He asks her not to print any of the information she has gathered so as not to blow his cover. The ploy works until Torchy figures it out and brings the gang to justice. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

    Torchy Blane in Panama
    With Glenda Farrell having temporarily taken leave of Warner Bros., the actress' signature role of fast-talking girl reporter Torchy Blane was taken over by Lola Lane in Torchy Blane in Panama. Also absent from the proceedings is Barton MacLane as Torchy's loudmouthed police-lieutenant boyfriend Steve McBride; he's been replaced by Paul Kelly, who is frankly better in the role. The plot takes flight when a New York fraternal convention is interrupted by a daring bank robbery. Hoping to crack the story and outscoop her rival newshounds, Torchy Blane heads to Panama by plane, parachute and ocean liner. She manages to beat the other reporters to the punch, and to capture the mastermind of the robbery, with the surprisingly able assistance of McBride's dum-dum sergeant Gahagan (Tom Kennedy). Lola Lane is adequate as Torchy, but there was only one Glenda Farrell. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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