This is a surprisingly enjoyable Columbia programmer dealing with negligence and sabotage at an underground mine that tough reporter Sally O'Neil and her fussy assistant Johnny Arthur cover for a Los Angeles paper. O'Neill, playing a character interestingly named Ann Miller (later an actual name for a Colombia contract player), is a precursor to the Rosalind Russell character in "His Girl Friday", a female reporter so tough that she's willing to take on what would have been considered assignments for male journalists. Her presence is a combination of Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner and Kathleen Turner, and her character seems truly modern. She is not treated with respect by mine foreman Victor Jory, but eventually, he comes to see her in a different light.
As for Arthur, his character is nervous, prissy, uncomfortably funny and the type of person who would jump on a chair if they saw a mouse while O'Neill would simply kick it. He has been referred to as the gay Stepin Fetchit, but he's no less obvious than Edward Everett Horton, Franklin Pangborn and Grady Sutton were at the time. It's interesting that his character managed to survive the post Hays code rules, because it is very clear which side his bread is buttered on. However, there are insinuations of him having a crush on O'Neill that are just eye-rolling. He has some surprising moments of bravery (mixed with comedy) that will have you giving his character thumbs up. However, the final scene with him (last shot of the novie) is very bizarre.
This is a well-made programmer with plenty of action and great shots of what goes on in a mine, amazingly pro-women and ahead of its time in its characterization of O'Neill's Miss Miller. she is quite likeable, and it's sad that this was her swansong in a leading role, having been working in pictures since the silent era. Jory, quite a unique leading man, was also one of the best character actors Hollywood ever saw, and he certainly is no nonsense in dealing with the attempted sabotage of the mine. At under an hour, this truly is quite an amusing little film, mainly because the leading lady is so appealing.
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