Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Let 'em Have It (1935)

Director: Sam Wood

Starring: Richard Arlen, Virginia Bruce, Alice Brady, Bruce Cabot, Harvey Stephens, Eric Linden,Joyce Compton, Gordon Jones, J. Farrell MacDonald, Bodil Rosing, Paul Stanton Hale Hamilton, Robert Emmett O'Connor, Dorothy Appleby, Barbara Pepper, Matthew Betz, Harry Woods, Clyde Dilson, Matty Fain, Paul Fix, Donald Kirke, Eugene Strong, Christian Rub

More info: IMDb


Plot: We follow the training and adventures of a team of young federal anti-gangster agents, Mal Stevens, Van Rensseler, and Tex Logan. After foiling a kidnap attempt on socialite Eleanor Spencer (an old flame of Van's), Mal falls for her; but they're at odds over her belief in the innocence of her chauffeur Joe Keefer (whom Mal knows was involved) and her young brother Buddy's desire to join the federal agents. This conflict climaxes with the pursuit of an Ohio bank-robbing gang.

My rating: 8/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

There's something about the gung-ho optimism of law enforcement portrayed in movies of the 1930s that makes me smile.  I'm pretty sure that was something J. Edgar Hoover insisted on and pushed for in Hollywood.  The bad guys always got their comeuppance and the FBI, coppers and whatnot always got their man.  This is one of those pictures that reeks of that "let's get 'em, Boys!" upbeat attitude.  We follow the new recruits from their testing phase, through training and working in the field.

The science behind this, as far as I can tell, is accurate and it illustrates the meticulousness the FBI had in building its database on every little thing imaginable.  They had experts on everything and they gathered clues to go after the bad guys.  I thoroughly enjoyed this picture from start to finish.  It's fun, fast paced and the little romance thrown into the mix doesn't bog the picture down in any way.  It's such a small part of the picture that it makes it so easy to hit that beat from time to time and move on to the crime story at hand.  And you'll be shocked at what the plastic surgeon does to the main baddie.  It's pretty damn cool.  The DVD is on Amazon for five and a half bucks with free shipping.  Pick it up.  It's a gas.

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