Redhead (1941)

Ted Brown (Johnny Downs), a young man with no motivation or aspirations, is driving his dad nuts. Desperate to change his son’s attitude, the older Mr. Brown hires a beautiful girl named Dale Carter (June Lang), paying her $10,000 to whip Ted into shape. Things get predictably complicated when Dale finds herself truly falling for Ted.

(Image via Amazon)

(Image via Amazon)

This 1941 romance, Redhead, was released by Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures. It’s based on a novel by Vera Brown, adapted for the screen by Conrd Seiler and Dorothy Reid. Edward L. Cahn, who would later become known for sci-fi flicks like Invisible Invaders and It! The Terror from Beyond Space, directs.

Oddly, this film does not appear on any online film database — not even IMDb or TCMDb, two sources that are usually quite reliable for general film credits. A film titled Redhead from the year 1934 is listed, but it has a completely different cast and crew, with Melville W. Brown directing. IMDb lists the Brown film as presumed lost, but Monogram is still listed as the production company. The run time is slightly longer, listed at 70-some minutes. Did they produce the same film twice in the same year, losing one? Is the Brown film a complete fabrication? I have yet to find an answer to this conundrum.*

*Update, January 2015: I have since discovered, via a reader tip, that the film was released in 1941. Mystery solved!

Regardless of all of that confusion, Redhead is a decent little film. Fine performances carry the light, romantic plot. June Lang is particularly wonderful. She has great comedic timing and delivery. I’d even go so far as to say she’s a bit Lombard-esque at times!

Also shining is Eric Blore in his supporting role. He’s one of my favorite character actors. In most films I’ve noticed that he has a serious knack for scene-stealing, and this flick is no exception. He’s an absolute delight to watch, and very funny.

Redhead is a quick and fun film, available for free viewing to Amazon Prime members (or available for rental for a small fee, if you aren’t Prime status). I remain puzzled by the whole two-near-identical-films business, but whatever the case may be, Redhead is a highly enjoyable way to spend 65 minutes. The score: 3.8/5

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

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