For Reel

Smart Blonde (1937)
September 19, 2015, 12:13 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Frank McDonald
2.5 Stars
Smart BlondeHaving cut her teeth as a supporting player in countless pictures in the 1930s, Glenda Farrell was given the lead in a series of films for Warner Brothers that would see her cast as an investigative reporter with a knack for solving crimes. Smart Blonde is the first of nine Torchy Blane films, the start of her pairing with on-screen husband Barton MacLane as police lieutenant Steve McBride. Whereas Torchy is hungry for the story and is always looking for leads, McBride in this earliest installment largely wants her out of the way… only, as it turns out, her skills as an investigator are significantly more pronounced than his. Farrell is amusing in what is a typical role for her–she’s plucky and brash, the down-to-earth rebuttal to high class female sleuths like Nora Charles. Unfortunately, she largely takes a backseat to MacLane in this installment, who admittedly retools his persona as a heavy from other Warner Brothers pictures surprisingly well in this role. The screenplay isn’t up to the studio’s usual standard with this kind of programmer, but it does move at a nice clip.

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