# Similar Movies Like Pursuit
Pursuit 1935
About: "Mitch" Mitchell is an aviator who has been hired to take a kid in a guardianship suit out of California into Mexico. He is accompanied by Maxine Rush, the secretary of the head of a private-detective agency who has been hired to care for the child until the suit is over. (Overview written by Les Adams )
Released: 09 Aug 1935 Director: Edwin L. Marin Writers: Lawrence G. Blochman (story "Gallant Highway"), Wells Root (screenplay) Actors: Chester Morris, Sally Eilers, Scotty Beckett, Henry Travers Genres: Action, Comedy, Romance
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Pursuit Reviews:

No, this tiny programmer from the 30's is not going to victory any awards. But it is an entertaining, fast-paced action drama laced with sometimes amusing bits of comic relief. The two principals, Eilers and Morris are particularly winning, their chemistry blending nicely as they grow closer despite the odds. I was especially taken with Eilers whose verve and grit recommend an MGM ver of Warner's nice toughie Joan Blondell. On the another hand, for me, a tiny of the folksy humor of Henry Travers goes a long way, but I guess that's a matter of taste. And, of course, there's tragic tiny scene-stealer Scottie Beckett who soon fell victim to the notorious "child star" syndrome. It's difficult to trust his soon life, seeing him here.Anyway, an interesting part was seeing those old flivvers of the 30's racing down narrow two- lane country streets where I should almost see Bonnie and Clyde just ahead. Yes indeed, the writers manage to string together about each cliff-hanger gimmick imaginable. So, if you don't like this particular setup, wait, there's other one just around the bend. But when you think about it, a gimmicky format is not so various from today's f-x'ed film fare that cute much depends on the spectacular. All in all, this tiny programmer amounts to an entertaining peek back into a time when kidnapping was in the headlines and Dillinger was on the loose.


Since the Lindbergh case, the crime of kidnapping had become so distasteful to the Hays office that it had been barred from the screen since 1934 except 1. "when the topics is handled with restraint and discretion" and 2. "when the kid is returned unharmed". "Pursuit" ticked both of these boxes. Based on "Gallant Highway" a novel length storyline by Lawrence G. Blochman, it was filmed on highways between San Francisco and Mexico and lived up to it's game by being a quick moving storyline of the efforts of dare devil pilot Mitch (the everytime perfect Chester Morris) trying to protect tiny Scotty Becket from selfish relatives. Of course there everytime has to be a woman and pretty Sally Eilers is Maxine, who tags along to see that the job is done. From the first several mins there is non-stop action, first the plane takes off with only Donald (Beckett) aboard, then Mitch saves the day by rescuing Donald from a smashed plane, then in turn from a burning car. There is an element of Bonnie and Clyde as Maxine and Mitch evade a backwoods policeman and end up at an auto court where they encounter very pesky Henry Travers who, along with his dog, "Perfume", tails them all the method to the Mexican border. Along the method Donald is disguised as a woman and they even resort to blackface to evade the baddies!!In keeping with the Hays Code, there is really no sign of any desperate villains (there are doubts all along about C. Henry Gordon though). Henry Travers (Henry Travers, I ask you) is the only person they can't shake, he eventually abducts Donald but when he realises "Perfume" is sick, that's it - his most necessary point after that is to search a vet!! There is a piece in the paper about Donald's mother being a floozie and a showgirl but as played by Dorothy Peterson she should pass for America's First Lady!! As usual Chester Morris is first rate, he had been associated with MGM from his earliest movies and if he had signed an exclusive contract should have been a star of the first magnitude - but he may not have got the tons of roles he was able to search if he had. Scotty Beckett was one of the cutest kid actors ever - he was originally part of "Our Gang" but he later won roles in prominent movies ("Anthony Adverse", "King's Row" etc). Unfortunately the last several years of his life were filled with unpleasant stories, including drugs and violence. A sad ending for a pretty tiny boy!!


Needing the $2,000 payment offered, broke San Francisco pilot Chester Morris (as Mitchell) accepts an offer from kid protective agent Sally Eilers (as Maxine Bush). They are to accompany pretty tiny Scotty Beckett (as Donald "Donny" McCoy) to Mexico because his widowed mother has low lawyers and fears she will lose her son in a custody battle. Since his plane crashes in the opening mishap, Mr. Morris decides to drive young Beckett to Mexico, with Ms. Eilers going along. Of course, Morris and Eilers become a reluctant romantic couple. Beckett is reported kidnapped, with a $20,000 reward offered for his return. It turns out to be a rocky trip, with film serial-type cliffhangers...A famous actor in the 1930s, Morris was favored in gangster crime dramas. The case in "Pursuit" is serious, but his co-stars reveal Morris presented in a one of his lighter pictures. Pretty and capable, Eilers never achieved her star potential; possibly, she would have had more luck if a single studio (like MGM) were handling her career. Morris and Eilers have nice chemistry, but they're not Gable and Colbert. New from the "Our Gang" child series, Beckett is a tiny too sweetly layered, even without the lollipop. To hide from the police, Beckett dresses up as a girl. He also joins Morris and Eilers as a "black-face" family. The trio are inoffensive and Beckett is convincing as a tiny 1930s black girl.***** Pursuit (8/9/35) Edwin L. Marin ~ Chester Morris, Sally Eilers, Scotty Beckett, Henry Travers



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