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Happy Go Lucky (December 14, 1936)

Phil Regan in Happy Go Lucky

Released on December 14, 1936: A singer in Shanghi looks exactly like a missing flyer who went missing, and is feared to have sold the experimental airplane that he was flying. Foreign gangsters, the missing flyers girlfriend, and the U.S. military wants him, dead or alive.

Directed by Aubrey Scotto

The Actors: Phil Regan (John L. 'Happy Jack' Cole and Bill Lyons), Evelyn Venable (Mary Gorham), Jed Prouty (Charles Gorham), William Newell (Charlie Davis), Jonathan Hale (J. Lansing Bennett), Harlan Briggs (U.S. Consul E.R. Brown), Stanley Andrews (Captain Matzdorf), Claude King (Colonel Willis), Carleton Young (Al), Karl Hackett (Porozzi), Guy Kingsford (Joe, henchman), Howard C. Hickman (Doctor Wilson), Willie Fung (Coolie fisherman), Robert Adair (unknown), Wilson Benge (the butler), Howard Brooks (Morley, Gorham's butler), Jack Cheatham (shore patrolman), Lee Ford (Smitty, stage manager), Oscar 'Dutch' Hendrian (heckler), John Mack (sailor), John McGuire (airplane mechanic), Anthony Pawley (unknown), Harold E. Skidmore (sailor), Harry Strang (Joe, electrician), Sammee Tong (driver).

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Happy Go Lucky stars Phil Regan as a tenor singer, and also as an American flyer who sells an experimental plane to some bad guys in Shanghi, China. It is a pretty good plot, and with plenty of action between songs, even the guys will enjoy this one.

A pretty girl is taken to a theater where a fellow is singing, and he looks just like her boyfriend Bill Lyons. Bill flys an experimental plane for her father's company, and he went missing while flying in the Pacific. Everyone fears that he is either dead, or has sold the plane to some bad guys. Now here is this fellow, Happy Jack Cole, singing in a stage show, and he is a dead ringer for Bill. Soon we have the bad guys chasing Happy Jack, convinced that he is the missing flyer who promised them the plane. But the missing flyer soon appears also, and he indeed did make a deal with the bad guys to sell the secret equipment on the plane. Amidst much confusion and kidnapping and escapes, Happy Jack manages to sing his way into rescuing himself, the girl and her father, and also capturing the bad guys, with the help of some U.S. Navy boys who are on shore leave in Shanghi.

Phil Regan, the star, is a very interesting actor. He was born in Brooklyn in an Irish-American family. Around 1930 he was a New York City cop, and one night while at a party that a radio executive was also at, he sang a couple of songs. The radio exectutive was impressed enough to give him his own radio show, and he was billed as the singing cop. Between 1933 and 1946 he appeared in several movies, usually singing his way through them. But the cop turned convict later. He was part of a real estate deal in California, and when he attempted to bribe an official to get some zoning changed, he was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail. This was in 1972. Before this, in 1966, he helped Ronald Reagan in his run for Governor of California. He lived ninety years, passing on February 11, 1996. He was married to Josephine Dwyer for seventy years, with four children and nineteen grand children.