Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NIGHT KEY - "What I Create, I Can Destroy" (1937)

Today's date is 2012012, crazy huh? Tonight's feature is pretty wild too, the Boris Karloff classic, "Night Key," and just like this great title card, it's simple, but very effective!

The Big City where crime runs rampant! The whole soundtrack of "Night Key" is stock music from at least 9 different uncredited composers including Karl Hajos, Charles Maxwell, Arthur Morton, Charles Previn, David Raskin, Heinz Roemheld, Clifford Vaughn, Edward Ward, and Franz Waxman!!

The only thing that slows the criminals down is the vigilant diligence of "The Ranger Protection Service!"

And the always amazing Boris Karloff is David Mallory, the brains behind the design of the sophisticated alarm system!

Mr. Mallory's conniving two-faced lawyer is giving him the old do-si-do, with one hand patting him on the back and the other one in his pocket! Allemande Left, and away we go!!

This is David Mallory's newest wireless burglar alarm invention, pretty fancy for 1937! Kudos to the prop department!

The effervescent Jean Rogers is Joan Mallory, David's daughter. They're really happy because David's lawyer just told him that Ranger wants to buy his latest device, and Joan can get out of her deadend job, and David can get the much needed eye surgery he needs and deserves!

This is Hobart Cavanaugh as two-bit crook Petty Louie! Hobart was in 190 films from 1928 until 1950, the year of his death! Here's just a couple of samples, "The Mayor Of Hell," "The Devil's Mate," "I Am A Thief," and "The Ghost Comes Home!" What a great character guy!

Here's how Mallory's system works, when an alarm is tripped, this big wall of lights and numbers is triggered, and then this guy yells out what number it is..... "601!"

....then his co-worker goes over to this file system, and looks up the number, and written on a card is the actual location of the alarm! Pretty sophisticated by today's standards! When I was in The Army, I trained for 8 weeks with a similar system, then they sent me to Alaska, where they used a completely different system! What a waste of time!

Then the Ranger guys go out and grab the perp while he's in the act! This time, it just happens to be Petty Louie!!

Meanwhile, back at the Ranger station, Mallory's equum asinum of a lawyer has totally set him up! Mallory sold his latest wireless alarm invention to Ranger, but he doesn't get paid until they use it, and they don't plan on upgrading for 10 years!! In the vernacular, Ranger is an asshole!!

On his way out, Mallory passes by Louie's holding cell, and since he now has nothing to lose, he uses his wireless device to bypass the electric door, and lets Louie escape!

Boris leaves behind a little classic piece of graffiti for the authorities to ponder, "What I create, I can destroy," and signs it "Night Key."

Not knowing that her Father got screwed out of any money they were going to have coming their way, Mallory's daughter makes some party hats to celebrate! Jean Rogers had the role of Flash Gordon's girlfriend Dale Arden in two of the three "Flash Gordon" serials!

The party's over when the ugly truth comes out!

With Louie Louie's help, Mallory decides he'll show Ranger what's up by showing the public how inefficient his old system is!

But instead of robbing the places, he plays a series of practical jokes! The clock shop is the first stop, and when the Ranger guards get there, all the clocks are going off at once!

Next up is the umbrella store!!

Time for a change in the story as Ward Bond as "Fingers" steps in to let Mallory know that "The Kid" wants to see him!! If you've ever watched any 50's or 60's TV, you'll know that Ward Bond was Major Seth Adams, the star of 133 episodes of "Wagon Train" from 1957 to 1961, but all total, he had 271 acting credits before passing away at 57! Major Seth Adams was without a doubt more benevolent than "Fingers" ever thought to be!

This is "The Kid!"

Perennial thug, punk, and gangster, Alan Baxter puts in another killer performance! One of Alan's last films was the dirty rat flick "Willard!" "Fingers" always has his back!

The Kid knows Mallory can bypass all the alarm systems, so first he take's Mallory's glasses away, and when that backfires, he kidnaps his daughter!

Using Louie's eyes, Mallory is able to come up with a device that puts a shocking electrical charge on "Fingers" that freezes him in his chair, so Louie takes advantage of the situation by giving "Fingers" the old Three Stooges nose job!

Mallory creates this cool electrical gun that allows him and Louie to escape, unfortunately, the electric waves can't hold back bullets, and Louie gets shot as they exit!

Reunited with "The Kid," Mallory and Joan are almost goners, but it all works out in THE END! Double Bonus, "The Key" and "Tower Of London" are on a double feature Boris Karloff DVD that is available on Netflix!! It's a no brainer!!

1 comment:

Prof. Grewbeard said...

this is a good film, didn't see it til it came out on dvd.

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