Available on DVD !
To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat
Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!
When the town's special prosecutor gets murdered, straight- and
fast-talking reporter Brad McKay (Lee Tracy) somehow gets dragged into the
proceedings, because he is the alibi of a suspect in the murder, Moroni
(John Maxwell) - who sure enough turns out to be the culprit though. But
when McKay starts investigating, Moroni gets murdered (and in McKay's
appartment, too), McKay gets an envelope containing $100,000 from the dead
prosecutor's assistant's (Forrest Taylor) daughter Phyllis (Tina Thayer)
for safekeeping, and a certain mobster, John Angus (Jack La Rue), is
growing increasingly suspicious of him, so much so that he wants to
actually get rid of him - and McKay finds it increasingly difficult to
stay alive ...
But McKay is also picked up by a dame, Alma (Tina
Thayer), who sure enough turns out to be in John Angus' employ, but she
falls in love with McKay all the same.
In the end, when McKay is about
to solve the whole case, he gets a call from the owner of his newspaper,
Norris (Robert Middlemass), who invites him over to see if McKay's story
is waterproof - but actually Norris is the mastermind behind the whole
thing who now wants to get rid of a reporter as annoying as McKay
personally ... too late though, because Norris' own (innocent) son (Tom
Brown), who's also McKay's assistant, has already become so involved in
the case that his life is in acute danger - and rushing in to save his
son, Norris is actually shot by those in his employ who never knew the
identity of their big boss. All the other baddies in the meantime get
their just desserts, Norris' innocent son gets Phyllis, and even McKay
gets a girl, Alma - even though she tried to kill him earlier on.
really a perfectly written film, this one is a bit too convoluted for its
own good and still features plenty of plotholes - but this is all only of
secondary interest because Lee Tracy, though definitely past his prime and
given nothing more than his standard role, beautifully carries the film
and takes the audience over many of the script's rough spots with ease and
doesn't let the low production values keep him from delivering a fine
performance, carefully balancing out drama and comedy and dragging the
plot along like a steam engine - making The Payoff a fun film to