BAD GUY (director: Edward L. Cahn; screenwriters: Harry Ruskin/Earl Felton/from a story by J. Robert Bren, Kathleen Shepard and Hal Long; cinematographer: Lester White; editor: Ben Lewis; music: Edward Ward; cast: Bruce Cabot (John ‘Lucky’ Walden), Edward Norris (Steve Carroll), Virginia Grey (Kitty Ryan), Jean Chatburn (Betty Ryan), Cliff Edwards (Hi-Line), Charley Grapewin (Dan Grey), Warren Hymer (Shorty), John Hamilton (Warden), Gary Owen (Ned Burns); Runtime: 64; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Tom Reed; MGM; 1937)
“So-so crime drama.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
B film legend Edward L. Cahn(“Gun Fight”/”She Creature”/”Destination Murder”) directs this so-so crime drama. It’s written by Earl Felton and Harry Ruskin.
“Lucky” Walden (Bruce Cabot) is a hard-living power linesman who tries to retrieve his losses from crooked gamblers. When they refuse, he conks the crooked gambler over his head and hides the corpse in the bathroom. Unfortunately the police arrive at the gambling hall and arrest him. Lucky is sentenced to the electric chair, despite his plea of self-defense. His brother Steve Carroll (Edward Norris) searches for a missing witness Ned Burns (Gary Owen), someone the prisoner says can back up his story. Steve gets a tips and locates Ned just in the nick of time. When he backs up his story, the governor commutes the sentence to life in prison. When Lucky heroically saves the life of a prisoner who touches high voltage wires, the warden (John Hamilton) uses his influence to get Lucky paroled. In civilian life, Lucky gets back his old linesman job. He then returns to his old ways and gets arrested for a parole violation for punching a man flying a kite under the power lines.
The story gets murky when Steve is in love with Kitty (Virginia Grey), who also is seeing his brother. We are then asked to believe that the good guy Steve will help the violent Lucky escape prison and risk going to jail, just because his brother asks. The story lost me at that point.
REVIEWED ON 5/7/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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