Torchy Gets Her Man (1938): Detective Movie Comedy, Starring Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane

Directed by William Beaudine and starring Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane and Barton MacLane as Detective Steve McBride, Torchy Gets Her Man was the sixth film in Warner’s Torchy Blane series.

Released on November 12, 1938, the film was followed by another chapter, Torchy Blane in Chinatown.

When the film begins Farrell’s Torchy Blane is in the police station when a secret service agent Charles Gilbert (Willard Robertson) ask the police for help in catching “$100 Bailey,” a counterfeiter who has eluded the police for 15 years.

Charles tells detective Steve McBride (MacLane) that he suspects Bailey will pass the money at the racetrack. He recruits the police in a sting operation at the local racetrack to catch Bailey.

Unknown to the police, Charles Gilbert is actually Bailey, planning to use his position at the racetrack to pass off and launder his phony bills, along with accomplices posing as horse bettors.

Captain McTavish dispatches Sergeant Gahagan (Tom Kennedy) with a letter to confirm Gilbert’s identity. Charles switches Captain McTavish’s letter with one written by a member of his gang, and his cover is maintained. Captain McTavish forbids Steve to tell Torchy about the investigation. She is annoyed at Steve when he keeps her in the dark about the counterfeit ring he is tracking down. Gahagan is at Hollywood Race Track with a foolproof system, involving higher mathematics, that he uses to almost break the track. This draws attention to him, by not only the counterfeiters and racetrack officials but also by Torchy, who’s at the track tracking down Steve.

Determined to get her story, Torchy follows Charles from the racetrack.  She writes the story, but her editor is under pressure by police not to publish it in order to keep the operation secret. Torchy, suspicious of Charles, marks his car’s tire with creosote.

She borrows a German Shepherd named Blitzen from a pet store to track the scent. With Gahagan’s help, Torchy discovers Charles’s hideout, but they are spotted, kidnapped, and held captive by the counterfeit ring.

When Torchy and Gahagan are tied up, and a nitroglycerin bomb is set, she sends the dog to get help. Blitzen shows up at the police station, and leads Steve, the police and Charles to the gang’s hiding place.

In the end, Charles is exposed and then arrested, as Bailey and forced to reveal where the bomb is, and Torchy and Gahagan are rescued.

Glenda Farrell as Torchy Blane
Barton MacLane as Steve McBride
Tom Kennedy as Gahagan
Willard Robertson as Charles Gilbert
Thomas E. Jackson as Gloomy

Released on November 12, 1938, the film was followed by another chapter, Torchy Blane in Chinatown.