Brenda Starr, Reporter (1945, Wallace Fox), Chapter 5: The Big Boss Speaks

The Big Boss Speaks does not feature a scene where the Big Boss speaking over the two-way radio setup sets off the cliffhanger. Actually, the part of the chapter where the Big Boss does speak has absolutely nothing important to do with the plot. Except in how wrong the Big Boss is about predicting Joan Woodbury’s behavior.

This chapter of Brenda Starr is the one where Woodbury gives up and decides to cooperate with the police. Not even her editor (Frank Jaquet) can believe it. Woodbury’s decision comes right after main copper Kane Richmond accuses her of being an unprofessional, delusional liar. And after the scene where Richmond flubs a line and Fox didn’t do another take (or he did and Richmond’s one flub is the best it got).

So not a particularly thrilling chapter as far as Woodbury’s agency goes.

There is a conversation where Woodbury and Richmond decide they’re going to work together, which turns out to be Richmond taking Woodbury’s leads and Woodbury just going home for the night, but Speaks focuses on Syd Saylor and Joe Devlin having a painful comedy sequence.

Not a good chapter. But it does move fairly well. Brenda Starr gets by a lot on Woodbury’s likability, even if the script doesn’t show her much respect.


Directed by Wallace Fox; screenplay by Ande Lamb and George H. Plympton, based on the comic strip by Dale Messick; director of photography, Ira H. Morgan; edited by Charles Henkel Jr.; music by Edward J. Kay; produced by Sam Katzman; released by Columbia Pictures.

Starring Joan Woodbury (Brenda Starr), Kane Richmond (Lt. Larry Farrell), Syd Saylor (Chuck Allen), George Meeker (Frank Smith), Wheeler Oakman (Heller), Cay Forester (Vera Harvey), Marion Burns (Zelda), Lottie Harrison (Abretha), Ernie Adams (Charlie), Jack Ingram (Kruger), Anthony Warde (Muller), John Merton (Joe Schultz), William ‘Billy’ Benedict (Pesky), and Joe Devlin (Sgt. Tim Brown).


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