Watching 1939: Irish Luck (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult.

irish luck1939 film:
Irish Luck (1939)

Release date:
Aug. 22, 1939

Frankie Darro, Dick Purcell, Mantan Moreland, Sheila Darcy, Lillian Elliott, James Flavin, Dennis Moore, Howard Mitchell, Donald Kerr

Monogram Pictures

Howard Bretherton

Hotel bellhop Buzzy O’Brien (Darro) is an amateur detective and frequently gets in the way of the police, especially Steve Lanahan (Purcell). When a hotel guest is murdered, Buzzy takes it into his own hands to solve the case with the help of his pal, Jefferson (Moreland).

1939 Notes:
• By the numbers:
– Frankie Darro was in two films released in 1939.
– Dick Purcell was in four feature films released in 1939.
– Mantan Moreland was in four films released in 1939.
– Sheila Darcy was in 10 films released in 1939.
– Lillian Elliott was in six films released in 1939.
– James Flavin was in 29 films released in 1939.
– Dennis Morgan was in 10 films released in 1939.
– Ralph Peters was in 15 films released in 1939.
– Donald Kerr was in 23 films released in 1939.

irish luck 1939

Other trivia:
• Produced by actor Grant Withers. This was the first film he produced.
• Released under the title “Amateur Detective” in the United Kingdom.
• One of seven films that Frankie Darro and Mantan Moreland co-starred in together.
• First film of Gene O’Donnell.

My review: Searching for the “1939 feature”:
While I was watching this week’s 1939 film, Irish Luck (1939), my cat Tallulah stepped on the remote and turned of the TV. So that’s how she felt about this 1939 film.

While it’s low budget, I found this 50 minute mystery an entertaining way to pass the time.

Frankie Darro plays a bellhop who fancies himself as a detective, much to the chagrin of local police, especially when he hinders investigations by tampering with evidence. Dick Purcell plays the detective who is getting hot under the collar. Darro is helped by hotel worker Mantan Moreland.

It’s a fast-paced mystery with a little Irish appreciation thrown in.

The one downside is that there are some racial stereotypes with Mantan Moreland’s character. An example is that his character is often frightened, particularly when left in the room with a dead body.

Overall, it’s not a bad little film, and it’s only 50-minutes which is always a plus.

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