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The wonderful Glenda Farrell is on TCM this morning.  Mrs. Farrell as Torchy Blaine played an intelligent career oriented woman that was rare in the 1930s.  She always played a fast talking dame in the Warner Brothers films such as the MYSTERY AT THE WAX MUSEUM and others.  Today, TCM is running the rarely seen TORCHY BLAINE series from the 1930s with the underrated Barton MacLane.  Glenda is nearly forgotten, but an important part of early talkie history.  As a kid, I always enjoyed her performances.  It is always worth a look.


HERE IS A DVD review of the Torchy Blaine Series:


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The Torchy Blane films are a lot of fun.  Several years ago, TCM ran them each Saturday morning in the slot reserved for B-movie series, and I recorded them all.  I've really enjoyed them, especially Glenda Farrell's excellent performances in the title role.  If I remember correctly, Jane Wyman and Lola Lane played Torchy in a couple of the films, and while they were fine, Glenda is the real Torchy -- she's always a pleasure to see.  (Glenda is also very good in Susan Slept Here, in which she plays the sardonic secretary of the screenwriter played by Dick Powell.)

Unfortunately, the film that's on right now, Blondes at Work, is being shown in the wrong aspect ratio, which really ruins the viewing experience for me.  They've expanded the picture to fill a wide screen, cutting off the top and bottom of the picture.  It's better than stretching the picture to fill the screen, which distorts the view, but TCM really should be more careful.  This is not a widescreen movie and shouldn't be shown that way.  Almost every movie (with very few exceptions) made before 1954 was in the 4:3 aspect ratio.  They should not be shown in widescreen format, any more than widescreen movies from the later era should be shown in the terrible pan-and-scan format.  BE MORE CAREFUL, TCM!

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Glenda Farrell was a treasure and she is so much fun to watch in the "Torchy" series. Her energy is something to see and, as Torchy, she was another of the 1930's great female role models.  The mysteries weren't super complicated but still interesting enough.  My only problem with this series is the non-stop intrusion of the resident buffoon, "Gahagan," somebody's misguided idea of "comedy relief" (if you can call it that!)

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