After presenting weekly Saturday morning airings of such classic serialized film franchises as 'Tarzan', 'The Green Hornet' and 'Dick Tracy', for the last month, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has turned to a lesser-remembered franchise from the late 1930s featuring Torchy Blane, a female reporter with a nose for mystery. On Saturday, January 26 at 12 noon/11 a.m. central, TCM continues the trend by presenting the fifth film in the series, 1938's 'Torchy Blane in Panama'. What makes the serial and this entry particularly noteworthy, at least to legions of comic book geeks, is that Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster later sited the character of Torchy as the inspiration for Lois Lane. Even more interesting, 'Superman' writer Siegel apparently took Clark Kent's faithful co-worker Lois Lane's name from singer-turned-actress, Lola Lane, who stars in this week's Torcy film.
Not surprisingly, the plot of 'Torchy Blane in Panama' follows the standard formula of most Torchy films, i.e. Torchy stumbles upon a mystery thanks to her police detective boyfriend, Steve McBride (played in this installment by Paul Kelly).
Next week, TCM continues their tribute to Torcy Blane as Glenda Farrell returns to the role for her second-to-last time to star in yet another offering from 1938, 'Torchy Gets Her Man'.
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