ROGUES GALLERY. PRC, 1944. Frank Jenks, Robin Raymond, H. B. Warner, Ray Walker, Davison Clark, Bob Homans. Director: Albert Herman.

   First of all, this movie has nothing to do with the radio show of the same title, the one starring Dick Powell as a tough guy PI by the name of Richard Rogue, which ran as a summer replacement show on NBC for three years, 1945, 46 and 47. Nor does the title have anything to do with movie itself, a happening which was all too common for Poverty Row movie productions such as this one back in the 40s.

   Robin Raymond may have gotten second billing in this one, but she’s really the star of the show. She plays a feisty young reporter named Patsy Clark, hellbent on always getting the big story on the next breaking story. Frank Jenks, her camera-toting partner in crime solving, is there only for comedy relief, as you probably realized as soon as you saw his name in the credits.

   At stake in this otherwise totally unremarkable exercise in detective-comedy movie making, is a device cooked up by a home-based inventor that can eavesdrop on any conversation anywhere in the world.

   Dead is one of the members of the board financing him, but whenever the cops are called in, the body always seems to disappear before they get there. Not once, but twice.

   Pretty ho-hum stuff, you might say, and you’d be right if you did. The mugging act that Jenks puts on gets tiresome after a very short while, but Robin Raymond, who built a career in movies and TV playing uncredited roles over a long period of time, is quite another matter. I used the word “feisty” before, and believe me, she takes no guff from anyone. The way he walks into a room with fast energetic strides,  her elbows pumping, made me smile every time she did.

   It’s curious what catches your attention in small all-but-unknown murder mysteries like this one. Maybe it’s because there’s no real point in following the story itself.

PostScript. I’m spelling the title as it’s shown on the screen, not as you see it on the poster and the newspaper ad.