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THERE GOES KELLY (director: Phil Karlson; screenwriters: Edmond Kelso/Tim Ryan; cinematographer: William Sickner; editor: Richard C. Currier; music: Edward Kay; cast: Jackie Moran (Jimmy Kelly), Wanda McKay (Anne Mason), Sidney Miller (Sammy Cohn), Ralph Sanford (Lt. Marty Phillips), Dewey Robinson (Delaney), Jan Wiley (Rita Wilson aka Gladys Wharton), Anthony Warde (Farrel), Harry Depp (J. B. Hastings), George Eldredge (Quigley), Edward Emerson (Martin), Gladys Blake (Stella), John Gilbreath (Tex Barton); Runtime: 61; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: William Strohbach; MGM; 1945)
“This revolting low-brow comedy/musical/crime drama didn’t have much going for it but chutzpah.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

A cheapie Monogram produced programmer halfheartedly directed by Phil Karlson (“Scandal Sheet”/Kid Galahad”/”The Brothers Rico”) and sloppily written by Edmond Kelso and Tim Ryan. It’s a followup to Monogram’s equally dull-witted 1943 comedy Here Comes Kelly, with the fast talking Jackie Moran taking over for Eddie Quillan as the title character. It’s also a remake of the 1940 Frankie Darro-Mantan Moreland vehicle Up in the Air. This revolting low-brow comedy/musical/crime drama didn’t have much going for it but chutzpah.

At Hollywood’s Amalgam Broadcasting Company radio station, wise guy pageboy Jimmy Kelly (Jackie Moran), an aspiring comic, meets the attractive new receptionist, Anne Mason (Wanda McKay), an aspiring singer from Wyoming, by pretending to be an executive and giving her an audition. Radio producer Farrel (Anthony Warde) busts in on the deception with a warning to Jimmy that he’ll be fired if he tries such a stunt again. The radio station’s singing star Rita Wilson (Jan Wiley) meets with station boss J. B. Hastings (Harry Depp) and threatens to go to a rival station and toothpaste product unless her salary is doubled and she’s given final say on the material. The toothpaste sponsor Martin (Edward Emerson) has conniptions about her going over to his rival and gets the producer to try and soothe things over. During a rehearsal, Rita is killed with a pistol by someone who shut off the lights. The main suspect is a cowboy, Tex Barton (John Gilbreath), who Jimmy let into the rehearsal even though no strangers were allowed entrance. Before Rita was shot, she was startled to see Tex.

The pugnacious Jimmy and his frightened pageboy pal Sammy (Sidney Miller) help two dumb cops, Lt. Marty Phillips (Ralph Sanford) and Delaney (Dewey Robinson), solve the murder by interfering in things they shouldn’t be involved with. It’s more pathetic than funny, and comes with an annoyingly obnoxious blackface routine that was more crass than racist (if there, indeed, is a difference).


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”