This is a 1933 pre-code film about the daring adventures of newspaper reporter “Speed” Morgan and his run-in with gangster boss “Flash” Barrett.
Here is the full synopsis from IMDB: Reporter “Speed’ Morgan helps gangster “Flash” Barrett escape an ambush by rival gangster Mullin’s henchmen, and then escape the pursuing police. Posing as a wanted gangster named “Frisco” Eddie, Morgan is made a member of the gang and goes West with them as Barrett is looking for rancher Bill Miller, who was his in-between man on stolen diamonds until Miller dropped a package, found out it contained diamonds and hid and kept them. Miller’s sister, Lois, is unaware of her brother’s connection to the eastern gangsters.
This is very simple story telling, and also made very simply. It is all-round simple.
It is also quite genre bending. The film starts off as a 1933 modern day style film, with the moider of a rival gang member by “Flash” barret, which “Speed” Morgan witnesses. Sensing a scoop he helps “Flash” flee the scene of the crime in the hope that he can infiltrate the gang, which he does. We are then introduced to the main plot of the story which takes place in the Wild and Woolly West. The gang members actually drive into a Western town like the one in Gunsmoke or Rawhide in a gangster-style convertible jalopy. The town’s folk are all dressed in cowboy garb of course, and all ride horses instead of driving cars, although there is a car in the town that they can rent if they need it.
It is as though the film producers thought it would be a great idea to mix a gangster land story with a western. Perhaps 1930’s America was actually like that…no idea.
Something I really liked is that everyone was wearing a hat of some sorts… those were the days!
Kirk Douglas was 17 years old when this film was made.
Silly entertainment, but entertaining it was, and thought-provoking on many existential levels.
Film count 2019: 4