Sat 27 Jun 2015
FLIRTING WITH DANGER. Monogram, 1934. Robert Armstrong, Edgar Kennedy, William Cagney, Maria Alba, Marion Burns. Director: Vin Moore.
Titles can be deceiving, and this one is one of them. When it comes to old movies such as this one, I try to know as little as possible about them when I pick one out to watch, and this one fooled me, but good. I thought it might be a relatively unknown crime film with a good-looking female participant or two, but it turned out to be an almost totally unknown comedy film about the happy-go-lucky adventures of three powder mixers for a dynamite factory.
And that’s about all the plot there is, mixed in with a little girl chasing and explosions going off at funny times, leaving Edgar Kennedy, mostly, with blackened face or hanging from the highest branch of a handy nearby tree.
But when “Lucky” Davis (William Cagney, of yes that Cagney family) gets serious about one of the girls he finds charming, and vice versa, the two other fellows concoct a plan to keep them apart. So off to South America they all go, cheerfully wondering in passing when the next revolution will start.
The story line is so negligible I probably wouldn’t bothered writing up this review but for the fact that the film has only one user comment on IMDb and no external ones.
The fact that it has enough charm to it to have kept me watching all the way through has to mean something, however. The three male stars are also no slouches in the acting field, even if William Cagney’s career eventually went off in other directions.
Bonus piece of trivia: Carol Tevis, the girl with the high-pitched voice and stutter who was briefly romanced by Robert Armstrong’s character is said to have provided the voice at one time for Walt Disney’s Minnie Mouse, not to mention one of the Munchkins.