Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

September 24, 2021

Ralph Forbes in I’LL NAME THE MURDERER (1936)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:43 am

1930’s newspaper gossip columnist solves whodunit

Florid, over-confident newspaper gossip columnist Tommy Tilton (Ralph Forbes) turns sleuth when his friend is blamed for the murder of an ex-girlfriend with a taste for blackmail. We’re introduced to a number of colorful supporting characters, with Tilton gradually figuring out the nature of the crime through a combination of bluff and insight. He also uses his column to “smoke out” the guilty party, even when he doesn’t yet know who the guilty party is! Director B.B. Ray was an old hand at low-budget action films and westerns, and with minimal sets, and dialogue that describes actions that would be too expensive to film, Ray keeps the action moving at a swift pace. Forbes plays the part of Tilton as something of a dandy, with a lot of empty bravado. When Tilton proclaims “I’ll name the murderer” in the next day’s paper, even though he doesn’t yet have any proof, we audience members pull for him, WANTING him to crack the case. I’ll let you see the film yourself to see how all this is resolved… Overall, a solid 1930s poverty-row murder mystery from Puritan Pictures, best known for their 1935-36 series of interesting Tim McCoy westerns, including the classic MAN FROM GUNTOWN.

(review originally published in 2002)

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