Torchy Blane.. Playing with Dynamite: Directed by Noel M. Smith. With Jane Wyman, Allen Jenkins, Tom Kennedy, Sheila Bromley. Torchy Blane and Steve McBride try to nab a gangster by tracking his moll.
Jane Wyman as Torchy
Allen Jenkins as McBride
There’s another series of bank robberies, all by a bandit named “Denver Eddie”, and this time with no cave men to try to save the day. Torchy’s busy reporting on the entire situation and as she’s speeding from site to site, she gets pulled over and tries to use the “don’t you know who I am?!” card on a cop, but unlike the last time she tried this trick, it doesn’t go well for her. She’s arrested when it turns out she forgot her purse at the last reporting site, so she’s off to court to be tried and sentenced to jail for speeding, driving without a license, and about 5 other charges that the officer threw on for good measure. While she’ waiting to talk to the judge, a beautiful blonde lady is sentenced to 9 months in jail for shoplifting some unmentionables. Torchy doesn’t seem to be paying too much attention to that though and finally gets her time with the judge, who gives her Skipper a call and she’s released from custody.
When she’s back at her office explaining why she was pinched, she’s shown a picture of the robber, but he’s with a woman that she recognizes from her time in court. She concocts a plan to get back into prison to find the lady and buddy up with her to find out more about the robber. instead of just getting her buddies in the police dept to throw her in jail, she goes around town breaking fire alarms, sending the FD on at least eleven false calls. She finally gets caught by the police and FD and is sentenced to a year in jail!
She eventually gets her gal pal, and they make a break from the prison with the intention of meeting up with the robber, after a airplane flight and train ride later, they’re on the opposite coast and McBride and Gahagan are in hot pursuit, but don’t want to give the local fuzz any indication of what they’re up to, so they’re masquerading as a wrestler and his manager. Due to this they get roped into a wrestling match, all while Torchy and her gal pal finally meeting up with Denver Eddie, who’s then convinced to go watch a wrasslin’ event. It all ends with Gahagan being thrown out of the ring and onto our villains, and the heroes get their man.
Jane Wyman is definitely no Glenda Farrell, but by the end of the film I didn’t care, she did a great job as Torchy Blane and firmly believe she should have been given the role for a few more movies. Allen Jankins as McBride though, I didn’t like at all, he didn’t have the same gravitas as Barton MacLane, and seemed to physically be a smaller guy, so didn’t have the same sense of physicality
It’s a shame we never get to see Torchy and McBride actually get married, nearly ever movie ended with them going to get it done, but we never get that final payoff. Here we are, nearly 100 years after the series started, maybe it’s time we get to see those wedding bells?
Who am I kidding, I know any movie that would say it’s going to do that is really going to be a movie about a murderous gang that only Torchy Blane can put behind bars.
And I’d love to see it.