Female Fugitive (April 15, 1938)
Released on April 15, 1938: The wife of a trucking company owner is on the run from police after hijackings and murders happen to her husband's competition, and her husband is nailed for the crimes, with her as an accessory.
Directed by William Nigh
Written by Bennett Cohen and John T. Neville.
The Actors: Evelyn Venable (Peggy Mallory, aka Ann Williams), Craig Reynolds (Jim Mallory), Reed Hadley (Bruce Dunning), John Kelly (Red, Dunning's chauffeur), John Merton (henchman Mort), Ray Bennett (henchman Burke), Emmett Vogan (Investigator Steve Roberts), Lee Phelps (Investogator Steve Roberts), Sam Flint (Edward J. Howard), Martha Tibbetts (Claire Bannister), Charlotte Treadway (Mrs. Bannister), Reginald Sheffield (Dr. Richardson), Fern Emmett (the cook who quits), Claire Rochelle (unknown), Lynton Brent (the medic).
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Crime and Punishment . . . in 1938 trucking companies are a growing and taking business away from the railroads, and they became the cutting edge business that was the exotic subject of exciting motion pictures. So if you put trucking companies into the plot, a beautiful young wife, and some down and dirty crime, you have the ingredients for an exciting night at the movies for all the guys. But wait, if you can add a handsome male stranger to interact with the beautiful young wife, and on top of that add another young woman chasing the handsome stranger, and even the ladies will like this cat-fight for the handsome stranger.
As our crime adventure opens we discover that trucking companies are being hijacked and robbed. All the trucking companies except one . . . the one owned by Jim Mallory. Jim's young wife Peggy is a well-educated gal, and Jim provides the money and style that she is accustomed to. But Jim is the head of the gang that is robbing his competitors trucks and killing the drivers. Peggy has no idea that her hubby is a criminal until a couple of his henchmen show up at the house and one is wounded badly. The cops are not far behind, and when they show up, Jim tells his wife to get the car out back and get ready to pick them up and scram out of town. One of the cops is shot and later dies, and the other watches Peggy drive her husband and henchmen away. Once out of town and on the lam, Peggy runs away, determined not to help her husband any more. She now knows that she will be an accessory to his crimes, but she doesn't want to get in any deeper. By chance she gets a job as a cook for an eccentric wealthy man who lives in the deep woods, far away from civilization. This will suit Peggy just fine, and she will be able to disappear from the face of the earth.
But hold on, old movie fans, this will get even better soon. The wealthy man who uses the remote get-a-way home is a young and handsome artist who draws pictures for magazine covers, and is an avowed bachelor who evades all the girls. Soon after Peggy meets Bruce Dunning, the famous artist, another gal and her mother show up at the remote home. This gal has been chasing Dunning and Dunning has been avoiding the flirtations of the gal. Now as the gal sees the new cook Peggy, the claws come out and they spar with each other, and of course Peggy gets the upper hand. By the time the gal and her mother leave, Dunning is smitten by Peggy his new cook. Ah, but don't forget Peggy's gangster husband, Jim. Before there is 'smooth sailing' for Dunning and Peggy, the gangsters and the cops will meet Peggy and Dunning at this remote retreat, and the bullets will fly. So pop your bowl of hot buttered white kernel popcorn and settle in for an exciting hour of cops and robbers, centered around one fugitive female.