“You’d be one up on the way you do things now,” is O’Brien’s hardboiled reply…and we’re off to the races with Roaring City (1951)—a Robert L. Lippert-produced programmer whose title seems more fitting for a western than a crime picture.
|Hugh Beaumont, Richard Travis|
|Hugh Beaumont is not going to play the sap for Rebel Randall; he's slipped some incriminating evidence into her pocket.|
|Hugh Beaumont is roughed up by henchman Abner Biberman and serials hoodlum Anthony Warde (the poor man's Ted de Corsia).|
|Ed Brophy has been given his bottle, and he's ready for bed.|
Brophy's character is a real oddity. The actor had a thick Brooklynese accent that was instantly recognizable; he was short, bald, and bug-eyed - ideally suited for none-too-bright comic henchmen parts. But here someone got the bright idea to cast him as an erudite (if alcoholic) British professor (Red Flag! Red Flag!) who speaks floridly, gesturing like John Barrymore. Brophy plays it with an English accent, but some of the woids don't quite come out right. The effect is bizarre: it's like when Stan Laurel bonked his head in A Chump at Oxford and started talking like C. Aubrey Smith.