SKY BANDITS (director: Ralph Staub; screenwriters: Edward Halperin/novel “Renfrew Rides the Sky” by Laurie York Erskine; cinematographer: Mack Stengler; editor: Martin Cohn; music: Betty Laidlaw; cast: James Newill (Sgt. Renfrew), Dave O’Brien (Constable Kelly), Dwight Frye (Speavy), Louise Stanley (Madeleine Lewis), Dewey Robinson (Uncle Dinwiddie), William Pawley (Morgan), Jim Farley (Inspector Warner), Joseph Stefani (Prof. Burton Lewis), Eddie Featherston (Buzz Murphy), Jack Clifford (Whispering Smith); Runtime: 56; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Phil Goldstone; Sinister (Monogram); 1940-UK)
“It’s hokum, but is nevertheless mildly entertaining.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
It’s a goofy remake of Ghost Patrol (1936) and the last of the “Renfrew of the Royal Mounted” series. Ralph Staub(“Country Gentlemen”/”Sitting on the Moon”/”Navy Blues”) directs this flyer adventure story, part of a series featuring Sgt. Renfrew of the Canadian Mounties. Writer Edward Halperin bases it on the novel “Renfrew Rides the Sky” by Laurie York Erskine.
Sergeant Renfrew (James Newill) and Constable Kelly (Dave O’Brien), of the RCMP, search in the woods for a plane missing with a shipment of gold from the Yukon Mine Company. The local radio announcer Uncle Dimwittie (Dewey Robinson) has bugged the mine office and is giving a gang of thieves gold shipping info through messages hidden in children’s fables told on the air. The gang, led by Morgan (William Pawley), force Professor Lewis (Joe De Stefani) to re-work a death ray gun invented by eccentric scientist Speavy (Dwight Frye) and use it as a weapon to shoot planes out of the sky. Madeleine (Louise Stanley), the daughter of Professor Lewis, warns Sgt. Renfrew of her father’s troubles, and they search together for the gang’s hideout.
It’s hokum, but is nevertheless mildly entertaining.
REVIEWED ON 3/28/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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