30 June 2009 | MartinHafer
Not bad at all--an amiable entry into the Torchy Blane series
This is the first of nine Torchy Blane films. Glenda Farrell plays Torchy and Barton MacLane plays her fiancé, the police lieutenant. In an almost unrecognizable supporting role, you have a young Jane Wyman--look carefully, it really is her. This is ironic, as in the last Torchy Blane film (TORCHY BLANE...PLAYING WITH DYNAMITE), Wyman herself played the role of Blane. In total, Farrell played the lead in seven of the nine films--with Lola Lane playing Torchy in one of the films in the middle of the series.
The film begins with Torchy rushing to meet a train so she can interview Tim Torgensen who just agreed to buy the business empire of Fitz Mularkey. However, just after they leave the train, Torgensen is shot and killed. Who did it is uncertain, but it happens right before Torchy's eyes. Naturally she calls her newspaper with the story, but in a pattern to be repeated in future films of the series, she helps her fiancé investigate the crime.
Look quickly at the railway station. That's Wayne Morris behind the desk doing a tiny bit part just before he became a Warner Brothers star.
Overall, the film is very typical of B-detective films of the era. While not nearly as interesting as the Charlie Chan or Saint films, it's pretty good for fans of the genre. For others, it's a pleasant little time-passer.