9 June 2010 | kevinolzak
It takes a heel to catch a heel
1939's "Inside Information" is one of the rarest Universal titles, with an assembly of actors typical of this studio. Western hero Dick Foran stars as Danny Blake, rookie cop in the precinct of Captain Bill Dugan (Harry Carey), a strict by-the-numbers traditionalist unwilling to accept the new guy's up-to-date scientific detective methods. One of Danny's innovations is a handgun with a camera attached, which comes in handy when a jewel robbery ends with the death of fellow officer Casey (Robert E. Homans), who managed to photograph his killers during the shootout. Danny finds a piece of paper on the floor at the jewelers, and identifies the culprit by the heel of his shoe. Charles Bixby (Grant Richards), the guilty party, leads the police to the mastermind who hired him, jeweler Gerald Banford (Addison Richards), with a secret room where the stolen gems are cut. Usually cast in the role of murder victim, Addison Richards enjoys being the main villain, while Grant Richards had previously starred as detective Philo Vance in 1937's "Night of Mystery." Harry Strang appears unbilled (as he usually was) as one of Bixby's accomplices, and Robert Frazer ("White Zombie," "The Vampire Bat," "Black Dragons") plays a fellow cop. An enjoyable view of police procedures circa 1939, with both Dick Foran and Harry Carey shining as adversaries who end up respecting one another. Foran would move on to do "My Little Chickadee," "The Mummy's Hand," "Horror Island," "The Mummy's Tomb," and "The Atomic Submarine" (he died in 1979). Carey was coming off his superb turn as President of the Senate in Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (he died in 1947).