The Mysterious Miss X (1939) Gus Meins, Michael Whalen, Lynne Roberts, Chick Chandler, Comedy, Crime, Mystery
Keith Neville and Dan Casey, two small-time stage actors, are traveling by bus back two New York City, and have an overnight stay in a small town. They take a room in a local hotel and a murder is committed in an adjoining room to Keith. The latter hears the gunfire, goes to investigate and is there when the local police arrive. He and Casey are both held on suspicion of murder and jailed.
The Big Boss is Jim Maloney (Otto Kruger), who pulls all the political strings in an unnamed major metropolis. Maloney’s chief antagonist is scrupulously honest “reform” governor Bob Dugan (John Litel). The fact that Maloney and Dugan are actually brothers, orphaned in childhood and raised separately, adds both texture and poignancy to their current adversarial relationship. Intending to reveal his fraternal ties to Dugan at a crucial moment in the latter’s anti-corruption campaign, Maloney is ultimately defeated by the forces of Righteousness. Outside of the always dependable Otto Kruger and John Litel, the film’s best performance is delivered by the underrated Gloria Dickson as a fairly realistic newspaperwoman.
Bullets or Ballots (1936) William Keighley, Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Barton MacLane, Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the mob. “Buggs” Fenner thinks Blake is a police agent.
Clyde Williams and Billy Foster are a couple of blue-collar workers in Atlanta who have promised to raise funds for their fraternal order, the Brothers and Sisters of Shaka. However, their method for raising the money involves travelling to New Orleans and rigging a boxing match. Using hypnotism, they turn the scrawny underdog into a super-confident fighting machine. They bet heavily on him, he wins easily, and they return to Atlanta with their money. All is fine until the gangsters conned by these two figure out what happened show up in Atlanta with a grudge. Now Williams and Foster have to rig the fight again so the gangsters can get their money back or they’ll be killed. Can they do it again…?