Anything For A Thrill (1937, B&W):
Crackerjack newsreel cameraman Cliff Mallory is given an ultimatum - deliver some great footage or get fired. Leave it to his ambitious younger brother Don to capture a camera-shy heiress on film and save his older sibling's job. Unfortunately, rich Betty Kelly hates having her face splashed on every movie screen in town, so she conspires to take control of the film company. Meanwhile, the spoiled socialite's bogus fiance hatches a blackmail scheme to fleece her of her fortunes. Star Frankie Darro, the son of circus aerialists, often utilized his acrobatic skills on camera. Director Les Goodwins appeared as a baggage clerk in the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical The Gay Divorcee
(1934) and four years later was directing second unit for the team's Carefree
(1938). He later went on to direct all eight of RKO's Mexican Spitfire
comedies of 1939-1943. This delightful independent crime comedy features dazzling location shots of late '30s Los Angeles and an engaging glimpse into a bygone era of moviemaking.
Men of Action (1935, B&W): A mysterious blast at a dam project kills Johnny Morgan's father just as the young man is planning to return to school. Local ranchers who mortgaged their spreads to finance the desperately needed construction are devastated. The explosion was the handiwork of a site foreman who is secretly on the payroll of the crooked banker who intends to buy up the surrounding land at rock bottom prices. As the workers organize to prevent further destruction, Johnny is caught in the middle of an all-out war between the ranchers and the ruthless saboteurs. Filmed mostly on location at Boulder Dam, Nevada, Men of Action is a stirring saga of working men risking their lives during the Great Depression. Frankie Darro shares screen time with two great character actors, Edwin Maxwell (Grand Hotel, Scarface, Duck Soup, Cleopatra, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Night of Terror, Young Mr. Lincoln) and Arthur Hoyt, a familiar face in the great comedies of director Preston Sturges.