Tag Archives: James Gleason

George Nichols Jr. – The Big Game (1936)

Plot Synopsis
Future best-selling novelist Irwin Shaw made his screenwriting bow with the modest RKO Radio sports drama The Big Game. The story revolves around the efforts by a group of crooked gamblers to fix the outcomes of college football games. When star quarterback Clark (Philip Huston) refuses to be bribed, the villains kidnap him on the eve of the titular Big Game. Clark is rescued by his burly teammates just in the nick of time, but the film’s not over yet: there’s a riot on the football field during the final scenes, reportedly inspired by a real-life incident during a 1935 NYU-Fordham game. Adding to the enjoyment of The Big Game is the presence of several genuine members of the 1936 All-American football squad: The University of Chicago’s Jay Berwanger, Notre Dame’s William Shakespeare, Southern Methodist’s Bobby Wilson, NYU’s Irwin “King Kong” Klein, Ohio State’s Gomer Jones, and Stanford’s Robert “Bones” Hamilton, Monk Moscrip and Frank Alustiza. Read More »

George Archainbaud – Penguin Pool Murder (1932)

RKO Pictures launched what could have been one of the great detective series in 1932, when Edna May Oliver starred in “The Penguin Pool Murder”. As Stuart Palmer’s elderly schoolteacher turned sleuth Hildegarde Withers, Oliver was one of the screen’s most liberated women, defying Police Inspector Oscar Piper (James Gleason) to track down killers with little regard for his pride or her own safety. Although Oliver left the series after only two more installments, leading to a serious decline in quality for the films, her first two outings in particular were years ahead of their time, thanks to director George Archainbaud’s uniquely visual narrative skills and for the films’ depiction of an older, independent woman.
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William Hamilton & Edward Killy – Murder on a Bridle Path (1936)

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From TCM:
When the body of Violet Feverel, who had taken her horse for an evening ride, is discovered in Central Park, Inspector Oscar Piper of the New York police arrives at the crime scene and is joined by his friend, amateur detective and schoolteacher Hildegarde Withers. After Hildegarde locates Violet’s horse and bloodied saddle, Oscar concludes that she was murdered and begins to question suspects, including Latigo Wells, the manager of Violet’s stable. Confronted by Oscar’s suspicions, Wells reveals that Violet had quarreled with Eddie Fry, her sister Barbara Foley’s boyfriend, just before the murder. Hildegarde then finds out from High Pockets, a stable employee, that Violet also had quarreled with Wells just before her death. At Violet’s apartment, Oscar and Hildegarde discover Eddie and Barbara hastily packing and question them. The young couple, who had become engaged in spite of Violet’s objections, defend their innocence and cast suspicion on Don Gregg, Violet’s ex-husband, whom Violet had jailed for nonpayment of alimony. Read More »