Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Overlooked Films: HERE'S FLASH CASEY (1937)

No Black Mask hero had more success in more forms of media than George Harmon Coxe's Flashgun Casey. His radio show ran from 1943 to 1950, he had a short-lived comic book published by Marvel, and a TV series (starring Darren McGavin) ran in 1951 and '52. Some of his pulp adventures were reprinted in digest and paperback, and he appeared in four original hardcover novels.

AND there were two Flash Casey movies. Women Are Trouble (1936) starred Stuart Erwin and was based on the Black Mask story of the same name. Here's Flash Casey (1937), with Eric Linden in the lead, was supposedly adapted from the first Casey adventure, "Return Engagement."

Well, I have not read "Return Engagement," but I'm pretty sure it doesn't start with Flash in college, or portray him a wide-eyed boy getting his first job as a new photographer. No, Eric Linden is not playing the grizzled, hardboiled character of the pulps, but he's likable and believable enough in the role he's given. There are even spurts of decent hardboiled dialogue (though not usually from Casey). Watch it yourself and see.

A couple points of interest: In one scene we visit a newsstand, and there's a close-up of an issue of Short Stories. Too bad it wasn't Mask. Later, at a society benefit, a background orchestra is playing a highbrow rendition of the Sons of the Pioneers' tune "Tumbling Tumbleweeds." And the criminal scheme involves what appears to be the 1930s equivalent of Photoshop.

Got your popcorn? Here we go:

1 comment:

Cap'n Bob said...

Great nostalgia even if it was before my time.