I’d heard of George Harmon Coxe of course, but had never read any of his work. Others, Evan Lewis and James Reasoner, have written of him and his works before. I found them in researching for this short little film for overlooked movies.
Eric Linden plays the photographer, based on one of Coxe’s stories, who’s just graduated from college where he’d put himself through selling pictures he’s taken. He’s got big plans to own the world’s largest photography agency in a couple of years.
Not as easy as he thinks. He gets tossed out of the offices of the editor of Globe-Press, Blaine(John Crehan), then meets, or rather bumps into Kay Lanning(Boots Mallory), one of the paper’s young columnists. And falls instantly in love of course. What young man doesn’t when he meets an attractive young woman?
Looking for a way in, he spies an article about a famous French actress arriving on a steamship that same day. She’d insured her legs for a million dollars. He hopes a picture of her might get him a job. No such luck. Every photographer in town is already taking pictures and he has no credentials. By luck, he catches her coming out and snaps one of her kissing a young man.
Unfortunately for him, it’s the son of the Globe-Press’s owner, Major Addison, who wants his son to see someone more respectable. Blaine offers him a job at fifty a week if he turns over the negative, then drops it to eighteen once he destroys it. He ends up a flunky for the regular photographer who, though he likes the kid, takes credit for any pictures taken by Flash. Though they don’t name the Hindenburg, the biggest deal is pictures Flash took of that zeppelin disaster.
Pop Lawrence runs a competing newspaper, Snap News, mostly photos. It’s owned by Addison and works out of the same building, but photos intended for him keep getting into Blaine’s hands for his paper. The photographer for Pop is a bit larcenous is the reason. He’s also tied up with crooks running blackmail scams.
Flash gets caught up in the middle when he gets fired for turning a photo over to Pop of a society couple’s wedding. No one knew there was even a wedding at all but Kay is a friend of the bride and sends Flash to get it. Blaine had already planned to lay off Flash, so it was just the excuse he needed.
At a charity event organized by Kay, Flash is snapping pics of the guests when he gets one of the Major talking to that French actress and being delighted. His son had brought her along under a fake name so his father could see she was a nice girl. The film in the camera, a new small model had been lent to him by that crooked photographer, is developed by the crooks and, in what we call Photoshop today, makes it seem the major and the actress were scantily clad together.
The Major doesn’t go for the $25,000 blackmail and they try to grab him as he leaves with Kay. In the ensuing melee, Flash happens along and gets a shot of the head crook shooting the Major(he survives) and grabbing Kay. The regular photographer for the paper and he have to perform an heroic rescue with the aid of a stolen ambulance and the cops following close behind.
This movie seems to be available free all over the net.
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