Watching 1939: Twelve Crowded Hours (1939)

1939 film:
Twelve Crowded Hours (1939)

twelve crowdedRelease date:
Feb. 23, 1939

Cast:
Richard Dix, Lucille Ball, Allan Lane, Donald MacBride, Cy Kendall, John Arledge, Granville Bates, John Gallaudet, Murry Alper, Allan Lane, Bradley Page, Dorothy Lee, Addison Richards, Frank Faylen (uncredited), Kay Sutton (uncredited), Blue Washington (uncredited), Dorothy Lovett (uncredited)

Studio:
RKO Pictures

Director:
Lew Landers

Plot:
When his editor is murdered, reporter Nick Green works to solve the murder. To make matters worse, the murder may involve the brother of his girlfriend, Paula (Ball).

1939 Notes:
• Dorothy Lovett’s first film.
• By the numbers:
– Richard Dix was in four films released in 1939.
– Lucille Ball was in five films released in 1939.
– John Arledge was in five films released in 1939.
– John Gallaudet was in 10 films released in 1939.
– Murray Alper was in 12 films released in 1939.
– Donald MacBride was in 10 films released in 1939.
– Allan Lane was in six films released in 1939.
– Granville Bates was in 16 films released in 1939.
– Bradley Page was in two films released in 1939.
– Dorothy Lee was in two films released in 1939.
– Addison Richards was in 23 films released in 1939.
– Frank Faylen was in 20 films released in 1939.
– Kay Sutton was in seven films released in 1939.
– Blue Washington was in seven films released in 1939.
– Dorothy Lovett was in seven films released in 1939.

twelve crowded hours

My review: Searching for the “1939 feature”:
Within a 12 hour span, a newspaper editor is killed and reporter Nick Green (Dix) tries to solve his murder. Nick entangles with racketeers, police … and his girlfriend (Ball), whose brother may be involved in the murder.

For some reason, I’ve had a hard time writing this review. While it’s a fun B-movie, it was also a bit forgettable.

Richard Dix is great (per usual) as a crime solving reporter, but for Lucille Ball fans, they may be disappointed. While she gets second billing in the film, Ball is seen briefly at the start of the film and doesn’t appear again for nearly 30 minutes.

The most memorable aspect of the film is how it was framed: The first shots begins with a woman’s high heels leaving for the night, framing the 12 hours the title deems are so crowded. At the end of the film, we see the same high heeled shoes arriving back home that morning.

While it isn’t the greatest film of 1939, it’s still a brisk 64 minutes that offers a good time.

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