THE ROOKIE COP. RKO Radio Pictures, 1939. Tim Holt, Virginia Weidler, Janet Shaw, Frank M. Thomas, Ralf Harolde, Muriel Evans, Ace the Wonder Dog. Director: David Howard.

   Tim Holt, who came up for discussion as a B-western movie star following my review of Sagebrush Law a while back, was only 20 years old when he made this film, and as a rookie cop Clem Maitland, he’s really perfect for the part, since he’s young and eager and as wet behind the ears as they come.

   Although he’s billed first, this film is really built as a showcase for all the clever things Maitland’s dog Ace can do, which I didn’t find all that interesting, but back in 1939, audiences may have enjoyed his tricks a whole lot more. As for me, I was more impressed with the performance of even younger Virginia Weidler, 12 at the time playing a 9-year-old tomboy named Nicey who wants to become a cop herself, when she grows up — and she can hardly wait.

   It’s too bad that with all the screen time Nicey gets, they really didn’t have a lot for her to do. Part of the story has to do with Clem convincing the police chief that dogs can be of great help to a police force, but even though the police chief is the father of his girl friend, he stubbornly can’t see it Clem’s way.

   The other half of the story is nabbing a gang of crooks, which is a whole lot easier than convincing a stubborn police chief to see the light. The end result is competently done, but it’s certainly nothing special.