Powder Town (1942): Rowland V. Lee’s Comedy-Mystery, starring Victor McLaglen, Edmond O’Brien, and June Havoc

Rowland V. Lee directed Powder Town, a comedy about an eccentric scientist thrust into danger, starring Victor McLaglen, Edmond O’Brien, and June Havoc.


Absent-minded scientist Young J. Quincy Pennant experiments with explosive method which directs a shock wave to a distant target.


Sent to a rapidly growing “powder town” being developed around an arsenal and munitions factory where population growth has attracted criminals, foreign spies and saboteurs, he is placed in a boarding house, in which he is the only male sharing with five females performing at a casino run by gangsters.

Comedic situations ensue when the rambunctious Jeems O’Shea, head of the   factory, and his sycophant Billy arrive at the house.


Victor McLaglen … Jeems O’Shea
Edmond O’Brien … J. Quincy ‘Penji’ Pennant
June Havoc … Dolly Smythe
Dorothy Lovett … Sally Dean
Eddie Foy Jr. … Billy Meeker
Damian O’Flynn … Oliver Lindsay
Marten Lamont … Chick Parker
Roy Gordon … Dr. Wayne
Marion Martin … Sue
Mary Gordon … Mrs. Douglas


Music by Roy Webb
Cinematography: Frank Redman
Distributed by RKO
Release date: June 19, 1942
Running time:79 minutes