Get That Girl
get that girl | george crone | charles r. condon | richard talmadge | shirley grey | fred malatesta | mental hospital | action | adventure | crime | thriller | united states | carl stockdale | lloyd ingraham | geneva mitchell | victor metzetti | billy jones | lydia knott
Film: Get That Girl
Director: George Crone
Writer: Charles R. Condon
Starring: Richard Talmadge, Shirley Grey and Fred Malatesta
This is a movie that I didn’t know about until going through Letterboxd for horror from 1932. From the looks of it, this is another one that seemed light on the elements aside from the time it was made. I was able to find this streaming on YouTube to check out. Aside from this information, I came in blind.
Synopsis: a young girl, who is about to receive a large inheritance, is abducted to an isolated sanitarium where a crazed doctor is performing strange experiments.
We jump right in with a car chase. Ruth Dale (Shirley Grey) is trying to get to the train station. After her is a group led by a character played by Carl Stockdale. With him are henchman Schultz (Victor Metzetti) and Mike (Billy Jones). One of them is pretending to be a woman. With fancy driving from the taxi, she makes it to the station ahead of the gate locking. The guys after her aren’t so lucky. Also arriving late is Dick Bartlett (Richard Talmadge). He jumps the fence to get on the train before it leaves.
On board, he takes a liking to Ruth. She got a telegram saying that a bodyguard will be waiting for her at the end of the line. She is slated to inherit money as the synopsis said. Due to this information, she believes Dick is part of the crew trying to kidnap her. She does warm to him as they go on.
The problem is that the trio also get on the next stop. Men working on the train notice Dick bothering her. This group of criminals accuse him and he’s taken off the train in custody. He knows there’s something wrong and gives the police the slip. He steals one of their cars to get to the next stop before it is too late.
This trio wants the money that Ruth is slated to inherit. They take her to a sanitarium where Dr. Sandro Tito (Fred Malatesta) works. The leader says he will keep Dr. Tito away from her if she will sign the money over to him. She refuses. There is only so long that this guy can keep Dr. Tito at bay. Dick also is limited on the time to rescue her with the police hot on his trail.
That is where I’ll leave my recap for this movie as there isn’t a lot to the story. When I was making sure I had the right one, I noticed that this was produced by Talmadge who also starred here. This feels like a movie is showcasing him. It looked like back in the day, he played in movies as the character of Dick. They would just change the last name. He also looked to do stunt coordinating in movies. I would imagine that all the stunts he did himself. This is impressive as there are multiple sequences of that. I’ll give him credit for his performance as he is fine as an actor and his comedic timing was solid.
With that out of the way, even though there isn’t a lot to the story, what we get works. We have Ruth who is inheriting a money and this gang wants it. This is a premise we got in wild west or gangster movies. What I found interesting is what puts this into the horror category for me. The leader of the gang’s plan is to take her to this sanitarium where Dr. Tito works. This movie is pre-code to my knowledge and this doctor is ruthless. What is interesting is that this is the second movie from this year I’ve watched where a doctor is the villain. Dr. Tito isn’t in on the plan that the leader is doing. There is only so much that can keep this doctor from hurting Ruth and the leader is using this to his advantage. I don’t fully remember what the experiment he is doing and what the implications are, but he is still diabolic. I like this movie exploring this idea early into cinema. We have scientists like Dr. Frankenstein who are mad to succeed. Dr. Tito might be doing something for the good of humanity, but it feels more like he is torturing patients.
That’s not much more I can delve into there, so I’ll go to the acting. I’ve already said that Talmadge was good. Grey has a bit earlier in this movie when she is on the run. She gets taken though around the end of the first act. What I like she is that she has a good scream which helps Dick at different times. Malatesta is good as this mad scientist. He is quite creepy to be honest. Stockdale and his crew are good. There is also this plumber, played by James Guilfoyle. He is funny, because he forces his way in to complete the job he is hired for and ends up getting drunk on wine in the cellar. The acting is fine for what the movie needed in my opinion.
Last things to go into would be the filmmaking. I’d say that the cinematography is fine. It is fairly static, but we do get a few locations. There are some car chases that I wasn’t necessarily expecting. We have a couple of train stations. There are ones in cars as well. The last would be the sanitarium that ends up being our third act. It is a creepy setting that works. There aren’t a lot in the way of effects, but it also didn’t need it. They do speed up the footage when Dick is being chased. That does add comedy. Other than that, the soundtrack didn’t stand out to me. The version I watched on YouTube wasn’t great, but it is hard for me to hold against the movie.
In conclusion, this movie is basic in its story. That’s not to say that it is bad though. We have Ruth who is trying to get away from a group of villains. The idea of being held in a sanitarium against your will is terrifying. Add in a mad doctor, which makes it even worse. I thought that Talmadge was fine as our lead. The rest of the cast was solid. I’d say that the filmmaking here was decent. None of it stands out aside from things that Talmadge did there as well. This movie just had issues keeping my attention if I’m honest. I had to consult what notes I took to write this. That isn’t a good thing with a runtime of just over an hour. This movie is just over average for me. There are solid aspects here that made it watchable, especially for the era.
My Rating: 5.5 out of 10