Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hold That Woman|
Actor: James Dunn
Director: Sherman Scott
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Mystery & Suspense
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Hold That Woman!
Steven Hellerstedt | 09/26/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Somehow a Poverty Row company like PRC (Producers Releasing Company) making, as their tagline tells us, "A Laff-Drama of Budgets and Bill Collectors!" should be a natural. The only problem is that HOLD THAT WOMAN! was left in the hands of Sam Newfield, a dreadful director who hacked out movies faster than Carter produced liver pills.
James Dunn plays skip tracer Jimmy Parker. A skip tracer is what they used to call repossession agents. Then wife Frances Gifford plays his fiance and traveling companion. Parker is tracing a radio which, unknown to him, has a fortune in stolen jewels hidden inside. Naturally he nabs the radio and thrills and hilarity ensue. Almost.
HOLD THAT WOMAN! is so sluggish and unnecessarily complicated - there's a second set of thieves chasing the first set of thieves - that it's almost impossible to sit through unless you're doing some else a little more interesting at the same time.
How unfunny is it? The first chuckle didn't come until 13:07 into the movie. The best chuckle came about five minutes later. Dunn and Gifford are jailed overnight after his is first attempt to repossess the radio is foiled. Gifford's simmering parents are in the courthouse when the defendants walk in:
Pa: There's the wolf who kept our daughter out all night.
Ma: But John, she was safe in jail.
After the laughter dies down we're treated to the best "thrill" scene, which has tremendous potential but is undeveloped. Bad Guy Group 2 has a BGG1 goon in a basement and they're turning the heat on. "My buddy always had an interest in dentistry," says one alpha baddie while another grabs and turns on an electric hand drill and a third holds the victim down in a chair. It could have gone somewhere, but the scene ends right about there.
HOLD THAT WOMAN! is more annoying than anything and I'd recommend it only for those curious about old movies. I wasn't familiar with either of the stars and wasn't impressed with them in this one. Dunn is a doughy little actor in the back-slapping, forced hilarity, Wallace Ford mold. To be fair to him though I should mention that he won the Academy Award as Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1946 for his work in A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN.
Skilled Personnel Work Well Together Here.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 04/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally titled SKIP TRACER. this very entertaining, briskly paced comedy adventure, released on DVD by Alpha as HOLD THAT WOMAN! features James Dunn, cast as Jimmy Parker, an agent for Skip Tracers, Ltd., who with his girl friend Mary (Dunn's real life wife Frances Gifford) find themselves embroiled in the midst of a burglary case concerning diamonds stolen from a movie star, bringing about their being arrested, shot at and chased by the thieves, yet finding opportunity to be wed and set up housekeeping, all during one frenetic day, thanks to a snappily penned script that neatly ties together disparate plot elements. A small budgeted production from producer Sigmund Newfield's PRC studio, the work is ably directed by his brother Sam, an old hand at such poverty row action pieces, assisted here as often by Holbrook Todd, editor, and cameraman Jack Greenhalgh who is accustomed to thinking quickly for this type of film, the trio joining to create smooth montage effects. That aspect of acting called "business", prominent from the 1930s into the 1950s, particularly in U.S. cinema, benefits this production, especially that employed by Dunn (who ad libs effectively) in conjunction with beautiful Gifford whose natural graces earn for the future star of serials the acting laurels here, although her native athleticism is sublimated for her role, while able turns are to be appreciated from Rita LaRoy, Paul Boyar and George Douglas as members of the gem thieving gang, and from Dave O'Brien as a skip tracer in competition with Parker. The DVD release from Alpha offers adequate sight and sound, with no extras."
A lukewarm production at best
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 05/24/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Hold That Woman actually exceeded my expectations because a number of people didn't think much of it. Yes, it's a "B" movie for sure; but it's not all THAT bad. The acting is fairly good although I hated to see poor James Dunn in this film; he was a good actor who worked with Shirley Temple at least twice prior to this film and he deserved better roles than the one he got in this picture. The plot moves along at a good pace and I can't say I was bored; but I can't say that it was as amusing as the DVD cover notes said it would be. The cinematography and the choreography aren't too bad; but I do agree with reviewers who write that the sets were obviously fake and of very poor quality.
When the film begins, we quickly see that Skip-Tracer (a "repo" man) Jimmy Parker (James Dunn) is not exactly performing well on the job and his boss is making threats to fire him in 30 days if he doesn't improve his ability to collect on his cases. We also learn that Hollywood star Corrine Hill (Anna Lisa) has been robbed of her diamonds and Skip-Tracers, Inc. is going to try to get her back those jewels. The boss' favorite man Miles Hanover (Dave O'Brien) may well just get the case after Jimmy can't even repossess a radio from Lulu Driscoll (Rita La Roy) without landing in jail on trumped-up charges.
But what only two or three people know is that Lulu fought Jimmy for the radio because it had Corrine's jewels hidden inside of it! Lulu and her boyfriend Steve Brady (George Douglas) decide to do anything to hold onto those jewels and then sell them; but of course there's another complication when a rival group of jewel thieves lead by "Duke" Jurgens (Paul Bryar) also wants the goods so that THEY can cash them in for the money!
Other reviewers are right to note that we get more plot twists than were truly necessary for the plot to be a good one; and sadly this weighs down the whole production. Jimmy Parker wants to marry his girlfriend Mary Mulvaney (Frances Gifford) so naturally we're treated to seeing them buy a house and get furniture, etc. I have no idea why they added this; it only adds unnecessary details to the plot and it sacrifices true character development.
The DVD artwork notes advertise that there's a "hilarious" chase scene when everyone is after the jewels (with even the cops joining in to catch what they think are merely people speeding down the road); but I never found it that funny. Sigh.
From here the plot can go anywhere. Who does wind up with those diamonds--and will Jimmy get them back somehow for Corrine? What if "Duke" and his gang get their hands on those jewels? And what about Corrine--will she mind the potentially very negative publicity? Watch and find out!
Hold That Woman could have been much better; but don't automatically throw this one out. It's not bad for fans of the rather talented James Dunn even if the quality of the print isn't the best. It has lots of action, too. This gets three stars on my book; two stars for James Dunn who acts very well and one star more for the rest of what the movie has to offer.