- 3 2017
Grant Withers (associate) for Monogram
directed by Howard Bretherton
starring Frankie Darro, Mantan Moreland, Dick Purcell, Lillian Elliott, Dennis Moore, James Flavin, Sheila Darcy, Ralph Peters, Tristram Coffin, Pat Gleason, Gene O'Donnell, Donald Kerr, Maxine Leslie, Wilbur Mack, Howard M.Mitchell
screenplay by Mary McCarthy, based on the novel Death Hops the Bell by Charles M.Brown, music by Edward J.Kay
Frankie & Mantan
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For whatever reason, Buzzy (Frankie Darro), bellhop of a big and posh
hotel, tries himself to be an amateur detective, often with the help of
his reluctant friend Jefferson (Mantan Mooreland). And one day the two of
them really stumble over a dead body, and somehow Kitty Monahan (Sheila
Darcy) would seem to be the logical suspect, but because she, like him, is
of Irish descent, Buzzy withholds/destroys evidence against her. Instead
he engages both police captain Steve Lanahan (Dick Purcell) and hotel
detective Fluger (James Flavin) in a game of cat-and-mouse, that
eventually results in more deaths, but also lets Buzzy find some valuable
clues, leading to Kitty's brother Jim (Dennis Moore), who somehow got into
a crooked deal with the first deceased, a crooked banker.
But before Buzzy can come up with anything substantial, he is even
arrested by the police - together with Kitty and her brother - and has to
use all his cunning to escape the police and finally find prove against
and confront the real killer, who turns out to be hotel detective Fluger
himself. Only Fluger seems to be one step ahead in the game, because he
has a gun and Buzzy hasn't ... and it's only thanks to Jefferson, who
pretends to wanting to throw himself out of the window, that Buzzy is
saved by the police in the nick of time.
But from now on, Buzzy and Jefferson have really learned their lesson,
and run a mile when a crime is even mentioned ...
The first in the short-lived Frankie and Mantan-series at
Luck (like much of the rest of the series) is a fun crime comedy, with
Frankie Darro - finally a step away from his teenmage daredevil kind of
roles - showing great potential for comedy that was previously only rarely
exploited, and Mantan Mooreland is dominating each scene he's in anyways.
Besides that, a fast-paced script and direction make this an hour of good