Officer O'Brien (February 15, 1930)

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Officer O'Brien
 

Released on Febriary 15, 1930: A big city gangster uses a cop's jewel-thief father to try to stop the cop from trying to bring him to justice.

Produced by Ralph Block

Directed by Tay Garnett

The Actors: William Boyd (Bill O'Brien), Ernest Torrence (John P. O'Brien), Dorothy Sebastian (Ruth Dale), Russell Gleason (Johnny Dale), Clyde Cook (Charley 'Limo' Lewis), Ralph Harolde (Mike Patello), Arthur Housman (Tony Zurick), Paul Hurst (Captain Antrim), Tom Maloney (detective Butler), Toyo Fujita (Kono, Patello's butler), Clarence Wilson (Patello's attorney)

 

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The Lovely Laugh

While I am first watching a movie that I am preparing to share with you, I am learning the names of the actors, looking for screen shots of the actors to share . . . and while watching the story I allow my sub-conscious mind to start thinking about what I should say about the movie that might tempt you into watching it. For this movie I cannot talk about the fine picture or sound quality . . . This story is one of the first 'talkie' motion pictures and it wasn't very well preserved, so the sound is scratchy and the picture is a bit fuzzy. Actors on the stage have known how to project their voices to a large audience since the earliest days of drama, but speaking in normal voices with microphones and cameras took a bit of time to master, and although the dialog and story line in this crime drama are quite advanced for their time, the voices of the actors seldom sound 'normal' as we know it for motion pictures. The author of the story was very talented at weaving a crime story with characters that interact with each other in unexpected ways, but that isn't what keeps coming to the front of my mind. If you are a fan of story plots that have plenty of unexpected 'left turns' you will certainly enjoy the story . . . It has story elements that I have never seen before in quite this fashion . . . This is not just a straight forward cops and robbers story . . . but there is something else that I would ask you to listen for . . . Several times at the beginning of the story you will hear William Boyd, as Officer O'Brien, laugh . . . I am confident that it was not scripted, and it is the only time that I heard honesty instead of acting. It is a good laugh . . . an honest laugh . . . from a real man with a laughing heart. Now, remember, William Boyd, the laughing cop, was orphaned as a youngster when both his parents died and he was forced to work and live on his own while most kids his age were still playing outside and waiting for their mother to call them to dinner. By the time he drifted from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Hollywood at age 19 his hair had already turned as white as any grandpa's locks . . . But in spite of life experiences that would have turned most of us into very negative, angry and spiteful people, Bill Boyd had a laugh that was genuine, loving and kind. Sure, you can enjoy a wonderfully crafted crime story with a cigar that is more than just a cigar, and you can enjoy a historically early 'talkie' from Hollywood, but stop a moment and listen for the laugh of a good man. Now go pop a bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Arthur Housman and Clyde Cook
Arthur Housman and Clyde Cook
Clyde Cook and Arthur Housman
Clyde Cook and Arthur Housman
Clyde Cook and Ernest Torrence
Clyde Cook and Ernest Torrence
Clyde Cook
Clyde Cook
Dorothy Sebastian
Dorothy Sebastian
Ernest Torrence
Ernest Torrence
Ernest Torrence and Paul Hurst
Ernest Torrence and Paul Hurst
Ernest Torrence
Ernest Torrence
Ernest Torrence
Ernest Torrence
Paul Hurst and William Boyd
Paul Hurst and William Boyd
Ralf Harolde, Clyde Cook and Arthur Housman
Ralf Harolde, Clyde Cook and Arthur Housman
Ralf Harolde and William Boyd
Ralf Harolde and William Boyd
Ralph Harolde and William boyd
Ralph Harolde and William boyd
Ralf Harolde
Ralf Harolde
Russell Gleason and Dorothy Sebastian
Russell Gleason and Dorothy Sebastian
William Boyd and Russell Gleason
William Boyd and Russell Gleason
William Boyd and Russell Gleason
William Boyd and Russell Gleason
William Boyd
William Boyd