Torchy Runs for Mayor (1939): McCarey’s Eighth Film in Popular Series, Starring Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane

Ray McCarey directed Torchy Runs for Mayor, the eighth film in Warner’s Torchy Blane series, and the last movie starring Glenda Farrell and Barton MacLane as Torchy Blane and Steve McBride.

Released on May 13, 1939, it was followed by one more chapter, Torchy Blane… Playing with Dynamite.

Glenda Farrell’ds Torchy Blane writes a series of critical articles about mayor John Saunders, accusing him of collusion with  crime boss Dr. Dolan (John Miljan) and his illegal activities.

Torchy is getting her info from the mayor’s office by a listening device. Torchy’s boyfriend, detective Steve McBride (Barton MacLane) is concerned about the articles’ impact on her safety.

Dolan asks his allies to withdraw ads from Torchy’s newspaper and pressures her editor into canceling her articles. Determined to prove that her articles are correct, she overhears Dolan telling the mayor about his “little red book” with all his transactions and illegal payoffs and finds the book after breaking into Dolan’s house. Dolan reports the burglary to police and demands the return of his book.

Torchy continues to write article exposing Dolan, but her story is rejected by the editor, fearing the paper’s commercial prospects. She then contacts other newspapers, but they all refuse to print the story. When she encounters Hogarth Ward (Irving Bacon), the publisher of a small, unknown paper, she decides to print the story herself and distribute it around the city with the help of Gahagan (Tom Kennedy).

The publicity forces a recall election: Hubert Ward is the new candidate running against the corrupt mayor. However, during the election, Hubert Ward is murdered by Dolan.  Annoyed at Torchy’s interference, Steve jokingly writes her name as the new candidate. To his dismay, Torchy decides to run for mayor and is winning voters.

Dolan’s man then kidnaps Torchy and drugs her, but Steve finds her location. Steve and Gahagan fights Dolan and his men and saves Torchy. When the police arrive, Dolan escapes but is killed when the car explodes. Torchy wins the election but decides that she wants to marry McBride instead.

End Note:

TCM showed the film on April 27, 2019.