Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Peggy Wynne (Eddie Dean, Rocky Lane, and Johnny Mack Brown westerns)

A starlet in both B-westerns and serials (she was a nurse in The Black Widow [1947] and the Daily Planet switchboard operator in Superman [1948]), Peggy Wynne remains anonymous except for having appearing in stock in Michigan and Indiana in 1941 opposite veteran Broadway star Ian Keith and in Upstate New York in 1946. Her screen and television career lasted into the 1950s.

Wild Country (PRC, 1947)

There is no kind way to say it: Peggy Wynne may have played in stock with Ian Keith but she was woefully unprepared even for an Eddie Dean oater like Wild Country. Being told that her father (Steve Clark), a former sheriff, was framed in a stagecoach holdup and then killed at point blank range by I. Stanford Jolley, all Peggy can muster is to look vaguely depressed and ask, “Who did it?” Learning from her lawyer, William Fawcett, that the killer wears a polka dot hatband, she smartly adds: “All we have to do, then, is to find a man who wears a polka dot hatband.” You think? Oh, well, Eddie Dean was hardly Shakespearean himself and perhaps needed to be surrounded by top notch actors like a hole in the head. But there you are; all you had to do to play a Western heroine at PRC was to look pretty and refrain from bumping into the furniture.

Trailing Danger (Monogram, 1947)

In Trailing Danger, starring Johnny Mack Brown and sidekick Raymond Hatton, Peggy Wynne plays Steve Darrell's niece but mostly stands by while everyone fights it out around her. There is another girl, Paradise Flo (Bonnie Jean Hartley), a saloon girl, but she had even less to do. The only unusual character here is Hal Hathaway, played by a bit player/probably stand-in named Patrick Desmond, an Easterner who at first appears to be a coward. But is he? Well, in the end he does provide a bit of romance for Peggy. This was Desmond's only movie role of any substance. Incidentally, he cannot possibly be the person born in the UK in 1892 as someone on the Imdb claims. This performer is clearly an American and nowhere near 50 years of age but he may instead have been the Patrick Desmond who played a stooge to infamous trickster Jim Moran, who presented himself as an Arabian prince in order to fool the good folks at the Hollywood lanmark club Ciro's. According to gossip columnist James Lindsley, Moran, dressed up to resemble Prince Saud al-Saud, who had recently visited Los Angeles, sent Desmond to hand over a fake ruby and a note to bandleader Jerry Wald requesting the orchestra to play, naturally, “Begin the Beguine.” This caper apparently took place in February of 1947, around the time Desmond made Trailing Danger.

1 comment:

  1. Peggy Wynn, a singer in 1941 - no can find.