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Laughing at Life

USA 1933
produced by
Nat Levine for Mascot
directed by Ford L. Beebe
starring Victor McLaglen, Conchita Montenegro, William 'Stage' Boyd, Regis Toomey, Ruth Hall, Frankie Darro, Lois Wilson, Henry B. Walthall, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Dewey Robinson, Ivan Lebedeff, Mathile Comont, Noah Beery, J.Farrell MacDonald, Tully Marshall, Henry Armetta, Edmund Breese, Otis Harlan, Buster Phelps, Arthur Hoyt, Pat O'Malley, William Desmond, Lloyd Whitlock, Philo McCullough, George Humbert, Irving Bacon, Gino Corrado, Bob Kortman
story by Ford L. Beebe, screenplay by Prescott Chaplin, Thomas J.Dugan, musical direction by Lee Zahler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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1913: McMahon (Victor McLaglen) has just built himself a life as a civil engineer with a wife (Lois Wilson) and a little son when his past - he was a big league gunrunner - catches up with him, and he has to give the authorities the slip, but not without promising his wife to send for her once he has settled somewhere else - but alas, over the years, he continuously gets into troubles with the law, and ultimately his wife dies without him ever seeing her again, and his son just disappears ...

1933, in a small South American country on the brink of revolution: McMahon is helping revolutionary Don Fabio (Ivan Lebedeff) to build up his army when his past catches up with him in the person of Mason (William 'Stage' Boyd), the cop who has been tracking him for the last 20 years - and he has the grand idea to capture McMahon with the help of two gunrunners (Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Dewey Robinson), and McMahon is only just saved by fellow American Pat Collins (Regis Toomey), a man whose acquaintance he has only just made.

McMahon soon trusts Collins like his own son, and he persuades him to work with him as gunrunner - but then he finds out that Collins actually is his son, and he tries to dissuade him from working in this line of work - but Collins won't listen.

Then though Don Fabio turns against McMahon and tries to have him arrested - but only manages to hav Collins arrested. At this point, McMahon changes sides and works out a deal with the country's still-president Valenzuela (Henry B.Walthall) to let him go if he brings him Don Fabio ... and soon enough, McMahon has dissuaded the revolutionary army to fight for Don Fabio, has distracted his bodyguards, has kidnapped Don Fabio, and has brought him to the local police and has even managed to make it look as if it was all the work of his son Collins, which immediately sets Collins free. And to make sure he can himself make an escape, McMahon has changed identities with Mason ...

 

Nothing big, but an entertaining adventure yarn, made on the cheap quite obviously but directed at a fast pace and carried by some quite good performances (not necessarily Mascot's strength).

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD