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Tear Gas Squad

Tear Gas Squad(1940)

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teaser Tear Gas Squad (1940)

Though Dennis Morgan had been kicking around Hollywood since 1936, picking up paychecks on Poverty Row and for such big studios as Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Warner Brothers, he was announced as a "big new star" for Tear Gas Squad (1940), a curious hybrid of musical comedy and police procedural. The 55-minute B-feature hews closely to the tradition of Warners' "G" Men (1935) and MGM's Code Two (1953), telling the tale of an irreverent police cadet on the rocky road toward being a good cop. Joining the force only to impress a cop's daughter, cabaret crooner Morgan excels in the glee club (singing four songs along the way) until the mob murder of his pharmacist brother prompts him to join the good fight for law and order. Tear Gas Squad benefits from a rich cast of character actors who later found steady work on TV, among them Herbert Anderson of Dennis the Menace, William Hopper of Perry Mason, Edgar Buchannan of Petticoat Junction and both George Reeves and John Hamilton of The Adventures of Superman). Director Terry Morse is best remembered for directing the wraparound American footage starring Raymond Burr that was added to the US release of Japan's Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1956).

By Richard Harland Smith

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