Exclusive Story (1936)

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(Image via Own Title)

Ace Acello (Joseph Calleia) is working for gangster Martin Werther (Robert Barrat), operating a numbers racket — an illegal lottery which never has an honest winner. Acello approaches grocer Michael Devlin (J. Farrell MacDonald) in hopes to sell numbers to his store’s customers. When Devlin isn’t crazy about the idea, Acello tries to intimidate him into complying.

Devlin’s daughter, Ann (Madge Evans), decides to stand up to Acello. She doesn’t want her father involved with gangsters, and she’s angry after seeing Acello con one of the grocery’s customers for his last dollar.

She calls on crime reporter Tim Higgins (Stuart Erwin) to help her investigate and uncover Acello’s racket. Convinced they’re onto something big, Tim also calls in the help of attorney Dick Barton (Franchot Tone).

Exclusive Story was directed by George B. Seitz and written by Michael Fessier.

In the beginning, Exclusive Story can be a little dull. Franchot Tone and Madge Evans are fun to watch, though, and have a few cute scenes. I also enjoyed watching Ann’s close relationship with her father.

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(Image via AVX Home)

The film gets much more eventful as it moves along. Franchot Tone gets involved in a bit of badassery, literally jumping out of a plane to save someone from a burning boat. (The action scenes with the airplane and the boat fire are some of the film’s most engaging). And on top of that, there’s a kidnapping!

Though somewhat uneven, Exclusive Story is an okay time-passer of a film. It wraps up adorably, and its performances are likable. It won’t be landing on my favorites list for this year, but it’s not a bad watch. Tune in if you’re a Tone fan or happen to come across it when you’re bored!

 

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