19 April 2012 | csteidler
Exciting mystery with likable characters
Larry and Mary, young stars of high society, eye each other from their respective boxes at the race track. Mary's aunt warns her that Larry is "notorious"; Mary coolly replies that he's awfully good looking. Larry rides his own horse in the steeplechase—and is thrown off. Faking injury, he catches a ride to the hospital with his head on Mary's shoulder
and the two are quickly engaged. From there the plot takes a while to develop, but eventually
Larry is (mistakenly) convicted of killing a gambling hall owner, escapes from the train on the way to prison, and somehow makes his way to
.Monte Carlo! where he suspects the real killer has fled. In Monte Carlo, he befriends a young French woman who becomes devoted to him, and pursues his only clue: the killer always plays numbers 7, 14, 28 and 29 on the roulette table.
John Darrow and Mary Brian do well as Larry and Mary; both develop interesting and distinctive characters that viewers can root for. To the newspapers, Mary is "Little Mary of the Vernon Millions," but she quickly establishes an independent streak that worries her protective aunt. Larry has "a reputation" but he's charming and dashing and—it turns out—tough and resourceful.
George Hayes plays the other major character, a police detective named Gunby—yes, a detective in a coat and tie. He watches with narrowed eyes, asks questions and adds up details, concludes that Larry is indeed innocent
and also sets out for Monte Carlo to hunt for the real killer.
Astrid Allwyn is excellent as a dangerous blonde who tries to pull a fast one on Larry and Gunby. An actress named Yola d'Avril is sad but loyal as Larry's Monte Carlo assistant.
There's no shortage of plot in this 62-minute adventure. And it keeps the viewer guessing—the suspense is not exactly unbearable, but it does build nicely to a well done climactic scene.
Fans of Monogram's 1930s westerns will enjoy not only George Hayes but a quick glimpse of the great Yakima Canutt phoning the police—in a tuxedo!