Prison Shadows (July 18, 1936)
Released on July 18, 1936: A boxer who seems to kill all of his opponents with his dynamite right discovers that his girlfriend is poisoning all of his opponents.
Directed by Robert F. Hill
Written by Al Martin.
The Actors: Edward J. Nugent (Gene Harris), Lucille Lund (Claire Thomas), Joan Barclay (Mary Comstock), Forrest Taylor (George Miller), Syd Saylor (Dave Moran), Monte Blue (Bert McNamee), John Elliott (the Police Captain), John Cowell (Graham, Murphy's manager), Willard Kent (veterinarian), Walter O'Keefe (John Halligan, referee), Vain Calvert (waitress), Jack Cheatham (cop), Richard Cramer (ring announcer and prison guard), Lloyd Ingraham (the warden), Donald Kerr (the sportscaster), Murdock MacQuarrie (fight fan), William McCall (prison inmate), Fred Parker (arena watchman), Arthur Thalasso (coroner), Martha Wentworth (Mrs. Murphy), Blackie Whiteford (fight second).
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Coffee and donuts - that's what this movie is about. Sure there are gamblers, killers, and a boxer who seems to kill every opponent he meets. Our boxer doesn't choose his women very wisely, either, but then how many of us do? But the donuts are what piqued my interest. When I graduated from Shanksville-Stonycreek high school in 1969 I went off to a school that would prepare me to become a preacher like my dad. This school was in Butler, Pennsylvania, and it was there that I learned everything I know about donuts. I had an old plymouth car that Dad bought from the neighbors for $75, but soon discovered that I couldn't afford to keep gas in it while I was working my way through college. Gas had risen to 32 cents a gallon . . . who could afford that? So Dad took the car back to Shanksville and either gave it to my sister Carol, or sold it right away, I don't know which. Anyway, I was on shoe leather for some of my time in Butler when I got the job making donuts. After my classes I would walk about a half mile to the donut shop where I would make donuts all evening long. I learned to love baseball in that donut shop, because the owner always had the KDKA radio station from Pittsburgh turned on loud to keep us company as we worked. I heard all the Pittsburgh Pirate baseball games as I cranked out hundreds of cake donuts into the boiling pot of oil, and deftly turned them over half way through their frying time with a pair of drumsticks. While I was doing that, the owner was making the raised donuts and other specialty donuts that I would fry after I was finished with the cake donuts. His wife did all the 'decorating' - she would frost them and add sprinkles or whatever other toppings that graced the donuts. I remember that the owner would once in a while complain/explain why he opened his donut shop instead of keeping the hamburger joint that had been his passion. McDonalds was just beginning to appear in western Pennsylvania small towns, and soon other people tried to imitate McDonalds with their own version of 'fast food' hamburgers. He would often grumble that when he put his hamburgers on sale for 15 cents each, the customers would crowd into his place and buy them as fast as he could make them. But when the price went back up to the normal 20 cents, his place was a ghost town. He lost money at 15 cents, and the customers that loved him then would not return out of loyalty when the price went back to 20 cents. That was a valuable business lesson for me, although I didn't realize it until many years later. Where was I? Oh, yeah, coffee and donuts . . . and dogs. If you girlfriend doesn't approve of dunking your donut into your coffee, get a new girlfriend. The only other thing I need to tell you before you watch this crime thriller is . . . . if your girlfriend doesn't like your dog . . . run, and run fast to someone else!
Grab your white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter and get ready for a 1936 thriller about a boxer who kills every opponent he faces, and the two girls who are in his life for better and for worse.
Edward J. Nugent and Joan Barclay in Prison Shadows
Edward Nugent with his dog 'Babe'
Edward J. Nugent
Edward Nugent, Arthur Thalasso and John Elliott
Edward Nugent and Joan Barclay with his dog 'Babe'
Edward Nugent and Lucille Lund have coffee and donuts
Edward J. Nugent and Lucille Lund
Edward Nugent and Syd Saylor in Prison Shadows
Edward Nugent making love to Lucille Lund
Forrest Taylor in Prison Shadows
Joan Barclay, 1936
Joan Barclay is about to cry as she discovers that Edward Nugent loves another woman.
Joan Barclay and Syd Saylor as they learn that Edward Nugent has killed another boxer.
Joan Barclay and Syd Saylor
Joan Barclay is pie-eyed for Edward Nugent
Joan Barclay in 1936
John Cromwell and Monte Blue
Edward Nugent and his two ladies, Lucille Lund and Joan Barclay.
Lucille Lund and Forrest Taylor
Edward Nugent discovers that Lucille Lund and Monte Blue tried to kill him.
Lucille Lund makes love to Monte Blue
Martha Wentworth and friend listen to the fight from Madison Square Garden on the radio.
Monte Blue and Lucille Lund
Monte Blue rubbing poison into the boxer.
Syd Saylor in 1936
Syd Saylor and Willard Kent as the dog 'Babe' dies
Syd Saylor trains Edward Nugent for the big fight