Thursday, October 13, 2011

Torchy Blane

Torchy Blane is a fictional female reporter who appeared in a series of light "B" films during the late 1930s, which were mixtures of mystery, action, adventure and fun.

During the pre-war period, the job of newspaper reporter was one of the few movie role models that portrayed intelligent, career-oriented women. Of these role models, Torchy Blane was perhaps the best known. The typical plot has the resilient, very-fast-talking Torchy solving the crime before her less-than-perceptive beau, the loud mouthed police detective Steve McBride.

Torchy was loosely based on the male character Kennedy in the MacBride and Kennedy stories by Louis Frederick Nebel, although Torchy was more compatible with the Hays code than the drunkard Kennedy.

In all but two of the films, Torchy Blane was played by Glenda Farrell, and Steve McBride by Barton MacLane.

Lola Lane played Torchy in Torchy Blane in Panama with Paul Kelly as McBride. Torchy Blane was writer Jerry Siegel's inspiration for the character of Lois Lane in the Superman comic books. Siegel based her name on Torchy actress Lola Lane.

In the final film of the series, Torchy Plays with Dynamite, Jane Wyman was Torchy, and Allen Jenkins Lt. Steve McBride. Torchy Blane is a fast-talking newspaper reporter of the 1930s. She often becomes involved in police investigations, eventually leading to the capture of criminals. As her fiance, Steve Macbride, is usually involved in these investigations, he often comes under suspicion of favoritism.

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