Wednesday, July 08, 2015


The title of this B-movie does not lie: it's all about the exciting life of a postal inspector (Ricardo Cortez). And I'm only being mildly facetious—his line of work is made to look like it's only a little less thrilling than that of a detective or a spy. The opening of the film shows he's also a good citizen: on a small passenger plane trying to land in the fog, Cortez enlists the aid of a young boy with a harmonica and a famous singer (Patricia Ellis) to calm a crying child who is making everyone else nervous. At the airport, Cortez meets his kid brother (Michael Loring) who happens to be an old childhood friend of Ellis. Slowly, a mild romance begins between Loring and Ellis, though Cortez is sorry to hear that Ellis is singing at a local club run whose owner (Bela Lugosi) Cortez knows to be a slimy character. Loring, who works for the Federal Reserve Bank, lets it slip in conversation that he is overseeing the transfer of 3 million dollars in worn-out bills to be taken out of circulation, and Ellis innocently mentions that fact in front of Lugosi who then plots to steal the money from the mail trucks. The robbery is successful—with two postal workers killed in the hold-up—and the rise of ferocious flood waters helps to distract the law. Cortez suspects that Ellis had something to do with the crime, but he's busy trying to keep the mail going during the flood. To clear her name, Ellis and Loring try and crack the case, but Lugosi gets the best of them, and it's up to Cortez to save them even as he continues to battle the flood.

And that's not all Cortez does. Several times during the film, we see him dealing with disgruntled people who have been hoodwinked by unscrupulous companies using the mail system to send defective or fraudulent products. This film certainly makes the life of a postal inspector look heroic. This is no Jim Carrey/Adam Sandler parody (Ace Ventura, Postal Inspector?); it's dead serious, though when I tell you that this is almost a musical, you may wonder, especially when I tell you that one of the songs is called "We’ll Have Bluebirds on All Our Wallpaper." But the songs are in a performance context, though one insipid rumba number is sung by Ellis in the shower, and she's joined briefly by her maid (Hattie McDaniel)! But for an hour-long second feature, this is fairly watchable. Cortez is usually a reliable B-lead and he's fine here, though maybe not as dynamic as a younger actor would have been. Ellis is OK; Loring is promising but he didn't go on to a long acting career. Lugosi, of course, is Lugosi. The flood effects in the last scenes are nicely done. [YouTube]

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