Back in Circulation (1937)

“Are you sure you didn’t poison the old boy yourself, just to get a scoop?”

Timmy Blake (Joan Blondell) is a top-notch reporter working for the Chronicle. She’s got a knack for getting the real scoop, and her editor, Bill Morgan (Pat O’Brien), knows how lucky he is to have her at the paper. Even luckier, the two have fallen in love.

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(Image via Rare Film)

Their romance and Timmy’s unusual fact-gathering techniques make things rocky around the newsroom now and then. However, when auto tycoon Spencer Wade dies and Bill finds out he may have been poisoned, Bill can only trust Timmy to cover the story.

Timmy immediately thinks she may have a hint of what happened. The night Wade died, she happened to see Wade’s widow, Arline (Margaret Lindsay), at a nightclub with another man.

Is Timmy’s hunch about Arline on the money, or is the case more complicated than it seems?

Back in Circulation was directed by Ray Enright. The screenplay was written by Warren Duff (with additional dialogue by Seton I. Miller), based on a Cosmopolitan-published story by Adela Rogers St. Johns.

I always love watching a Joan Blondell film, and sleuth Blondell may be my favorite Blondell! She’s full of her usual spunk here as a smart and cunning reporter, great at doing whatever it takes to get the scoop. Whether it’s lying to the cops or stealing a fellow snoop’s notes, she’s an ace at getting exclusive stories.

Though she’s great at her job, it’s complicated by her relationship with her boss, who doesn’t seem to truly see her value — in the newsroom, or as a potential wife! She sets out to prove him wrong on at least one of those counts, not only by getting another exclusive scoop, but by solving the murder.

Attempting to prove him wrong only complicates the relationship between Bill and Timmy further, as he insists a certain suspect is guilty, while Timmy insists the person is innocent (and goes behind Bill’s back to help the defense team).

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(Image via The Movie Db)

Blondell and O’Brien share some great banter. There are also some wonderfully tense scenes between Blondell and Margaret Lindsay as Timmy tries to dig for the truth. I found myself wishing that Blondell and Lindsay had more scenes together!

Lindsay is the stand-out of the supporting cast, giving a wonderful performance that adds some honest drama to the film amidst all of the sleuthing and comedy.

Back in Circulation‘s story takes a couple of unexpected turns, wrapping up in a neat and kind of cutesy fashion. Fans of Joan Blondell or Margaret Lindsay in particular will enjoy the film for their good work, but overall it’s a fun newspaper/crime movie, too.

 

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