Fly Away Baby

Fly Away Baby: Directed by Frank McDonald. With Glenda Farrell, Barton MacLane, Gordon Oliver, Hugh O’Connell. Torchy Blane solves a murder and smuggling case during a round-the-world flight.

The second of nine Torchy Blane films, this was released just a few months after the first one in 1937. With how movies were distributed though, it might have been years for your local cinema to have actually gotten the film in for you to see! The three main actors from the first film are back and the action picks up relatively soon after the first movie ended, with Torchy on her way to get a marriage license to marry the Detective that she had hooked a proposal from in “Smart Blonde”. As luck would have it though, a murder was committed at a jewelry store, which happened to be on the way to the court house and Torchy couldn’t resist getting involved in the case. Glenda Farrell is again enthralling as Torchy Blane, hitting the highs and lows perfectly, this time on a chase across the globe to discover who killed the jeweler, who stole his diamonds, and what they were going to do with them. There’s some fun movie tropes here, the most recognizable of course being the still image of a map with airplanes overframed and a line going from air port to airport, all while dramatic music plays, all to show just where our crew was on their journeys from the US, to Hawai’i, to China, then to Germany. The airline of choice? American Airlines! Best part of this movie was that they omitted any casual racism (unlike in ‘Smart Blonde’) and even had some relatively progressive moments when they were in Hawai’i and the locals were performing for the tourists.

“oh I may not win the race, but I’m sure I’ll get a great story”

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