Plot: A recent jewel heist also involved a murder, so of course intrepid reporter Torchy Blane (Glenda Farrell) wants to crack the case. As if the situation wasn’t complicated enough, the crime has some international elements and signs point to a connection to Germany. Blane might be an ace reporter, but world travel seems beyond her means, even if a big story is on the line. She and her homicide detective boyfriend Steve (Barton MacLane) have examined the evidence and have some suspects in mind, so she tries to convince her bosses to fund an international excursion. After all, an around the world race is about to begin and not only will it make a stop in Germany, but one of the prime suspects happens to be on board. But can Torchy solve this kind of international mystery, or will this just be an expensive vacation?
Entertainment Value: This is the second cinematic adventure of Torchy Blane and while it has all the elements that made the first movie so fun, it also puts in some fresh touches, so it never feels like a retread. The narrative this time around is a little uneven, as the mystery is solid, but the script makes some leaps that undermine the fun of solving it, which is a let down. But it is still an enjoyable mystery and once again, quite efficient and focused to boot. This one is right at an hour in length and covers a lot of ground, especially in the second half of the movie. The first half is more than solid, but I think the second is more fun and memorable, with some rather obvious stock footage rolled out to provide us with a world tour. As in the previous Torchy Blane movie, the pace is brisk, the dialogue has some real snap, and our leads are terrific, with Glenda Farrell once again stealing the show. So we have mystery, some humor, and even a little romance, all in one slick package here. As I said, the mystery takes more liberties with logic this time, but otherwise, Fly Away Baby is well recommended.
This sequel reels back in several prominent cast members, including the ever wonderful Glenda Farrell in the lead role. I think she jumped right in with great skill in the first movie, so it is no surprise she seems even more at home as Torchy here. I love sharp banter and Fly Away Baby has a good amount of snappy exchanges, which seem to be a big part of the entire series. Farrell has such a great presence, as she has just the right amount of attitude and even snark at times, while remaining always likable and the kind of character audiences root for. As before, the character is presented as whip smart and resourceful, often a step ahead of her boyfriend, the homicide detective, so Torchy is the central presence here. Barton MacLane is fun as the detective and while Farrell is terrific with the banter, he is able to keep pace in the back & forth rows. That is important of course, as you need the snap to land both ways and these two make for an interesting, likable couple. The cast also includes Marcia Ralston, Tom Kennedy, Gordon Oliver, and Hugh O’Connell.
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