On The Spot (June 11, 1940)
Released on June 11, 1940: Gangster Murders bring small town Midvale into the national spotlight and soda jerk/amateur scientist Frankie finds himself in the middle of the trouble.
Directed by Howard Bretherton
Written by Dorothy Davenport and George Waggner.
The Actors: Frankie Darro (Frankie 'Doc' Kelly), Mary Kornman (Ruth Hunter), Mantan Moreland (Jefferson White), John St. Polis (Doc Hunter), Robert Warwick (Cyrus Haddon), Maxine Leslie (Gerry Dailey), Lillian Elliott (Mrs. Kelly), LeRoy Mason (Smilin' Bill), Gene O'Donnell (Slats Eckert), Russell Hopton (Dave Nolan), Jeffrey Sayre (Hype Innes), Dave O'Brien (Charlie).
Frankie 'Doc' Kelly lives in small town Midvale where nothing interesting ever happens. Doc is a wanna-be scientist and soda jerk at the local pharmacy. One day he and his friend Jefferson are alone in the pharmacy when a gangster-looking man enters the store and locks the door behind him. He staggers back to the pay phone in the corner and calls someone in New York City. He tells the fellow on the phone that he is dying, but he will give his information to the two fellows in the store - Doc Kelly and Jefferson White. At that point he hangs up the phone and faces the boys, but before he can say anything to them, he dies. Soon it is discovered that the dead man is a notorious gangster from New York, and little Midvale is now in the news. Reporters from all around flood into Midvale in search of Frankie 'Doc' Kelly and the dying words of the mobster. All of a sudden Frankie is a big shot, and he makes up a story about the gangsters last words. But then Smilin' Bill, the head gangster shows up and demands that Frankie and Jefferson tell him what the dying man said. He doesn't believe Frankie when he says that the dying man didn't have time to say anything. It looks like Frankie and Jefferson are in some real trouble now.
Fortunately for Frankie and Jefferson, the next time Smilin' Bill is in the pharmacy pressing them for the information, he is shot and killed also. It looks like the boys are clear now, with everyone that wanted their information dead. But who shot them both? And what about the two small time hoods that know about three hundred thousand dollars that is hidden somewhere, and believe that Frankie and Jefferson were told where with the first gangsters final words? Can Frankie find the killer? Will the three hundred thousand dollars be found? Will the small town soda jerk solve the mystery that all the police and assembled gangsters cannot unravel? Pop your white kernel popcorn and pour plenty of warm melted butter on it, and enjoy a light and lively murder mystery with the very popular 1940's amateur kid detective Frankie Darro.