SIMPLY CAROLE

SIMPLY CAROLE
CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Friday, November 29, 2013

Myrna Loy goes solo as detective DANNI CHURCH

Myrna as Danni Church

After playing devoted wife to William Powell in three Thin Man movies so far, Myrna Loy tries the detective game by herself. She is perfectly cast as Danni Church, a war widow, whose husband was a private detective before leaving for the war. When he gets killed in combat, Danni decides to continue the business, Church Detective Agency. She recruits former policeman Mike Tracy (played by Brian Aherne) and they handle cases ranging from cheating spouses to missing persons. When Danni's college room-mate Gloria Morgan (Mary Astor) comes calling because she thinks her husband James (Patric Knowles) is having an affair. So Danni starts snooping and does find that James is having an affair with the much younger Stella Moore (a break-out performance by Susan Hayward). But James is also involved with some nefarious types and soon goes missing. Danni believes foul play but everyone else suspects he is just with Stella. So she and Mike begins knocking down doors, looking for answers. They first corner Eddie the Snitch (Elisha Cook Jr) before meeting crime boss Serrano (Joseph Calleia). This is good twisty film noir with ample amount of humor. Myrna Loy rocks as Danni Church, dropping one liners and getting tough when needed. Check out her tense confrontation with Stella in a bar:


Susan Hayward as Stella

Danni: Ms. Moore?
Stella: yes...
Danni: I'm a friend of Gloria Morgan..
Stella: sorry I don't know her
Danni: No I believe you know her husband James...
Stella: ahhhhhhh....so who are you? the loyal friend?
Danni: yes..and a detective. My name is Danni Church.
Stella: so are you lost or something? Or did Mrs. Morgan misplace James again?
Danni: You're a funny girl. Have you seen Mr. Morgan lately?
Stella: define lately...because if lately means last night...then yes. I tell ya what..go back and tell Mrs. Morgan that James will be home when he feels like it. Be a good little errand girl and do that for me..won't you?
Danni: You're a piece of work. But let me give you some advice. You seem smart and beautiful and can have anything in the world if you put your mind to it. Trust me when I say you and James will not last. Hope you have a nice day.

And with that Danni walks out leaving Stella looking mightily upset.


Brian Aherne as Mike
Mary Astor as Gloria

DANNI CHURCH (MGM, 1940)

Written by Jonathan Latimer
Directed by Howard Hawks

Cast:
Myrna Loy...................................Danni Church
Mary Astor..................................Gloria Morgan
Brian Aherne...............................Mike Tracy
Susan Hayward............................Stella Moore
Patric Knowles.............................James Morgan
Anne Shirley................................Debbie Church
Alan Hale....................................Police captain Ed Donnigan
Elisha Cook Jr.............................Eddie
Joseph Calleia.............................Serrano

This was the first in a proposed series of films but alas Myrna Loy could not fit another series into her schedule. She would return eventually in the sequel Danni Church: Family First (1949), with the stakes much higher as her sister Debbie goes missing.

This is another in my fantasy series..hope you guys liked it!

4 comments:

Desiree Colson said...

What a fantastic idea for a movie! So perfectly cast! I wish your idea for this movie had really happened... wouldn't that be awesome! Susan & Myrna in a movie, ah! :D

Rick29 said...

Well cast and a lot of fun, Monty, though I think Myrna might have made it a few years earlier.

Catherine said...

Great movie idea. I can really see these actors in their parts! Witty, interesting dialogue. Great job!

The Metzinger Sisters said...

Oh gosh, you got me here! I was feverishly googling "Danni Church" and wondering why I didn't get any results. This would have been a fantastic film! You'll have to join The Great Imaginary Film Blogathon next year. :-)

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