The Devil Is Driving (1932)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Run Time - 63 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Gabby Denton (Edmund Lowe) is a slightly down-on-his-luck bettor with a taste for alcohol and the ladies. To tide himself over, he takes a job in the garage owned by his brother-in-law, Beef Evans (James Gleason). Unbeknownst to Gabby -- times being what they are in the midst of the Great Depression -- Beef has had to play along with a stolen car ring operating out of one of the upper floors of the same building, where there's also a speakeasy and a mob hangout in the penthouse. Up there, Mr. Jenkins (Alan Dinehart) and his deaf-mute "servant" (George Rosener), who's a lot more than a valet, run the hot-car operation and Jenkins entertains his current ladyfriend, Silver (Wynne Gibson). Gabby meets her one day when her car runs off the road and in the course of hauling in the wreck they strike sparks, leading to a very obvious sexual assignation (complete with cigarettes after) at her place one afternoon. Gabby does fine juggling the cars and the girl until one of the more reckless wheelmen working for the gang critically injures Beef's son (Dickie Moore) while trying to evade capture; Beef is so upset that he tries to have it out with Jenkins and is knocked cold, killed, and put into a runaway car to cover up the murder. Suddenly, Gabby puts the stolen cars together with the operation on the top two floors and Jenkins; he wants a piece of the gang leader, and is willing to go right through Silver to get it. But the "good time girl" (as they called them politely in those days) proves better and more honorable than anyone (even Gabby) expects -- first she tries to warn him off, then convince him she's back with Jenkins, and finally throws in with him directly when it looks like the hoods have the drop on him. And there are still surprises from there, in this briskly-paced picture.



investigation, deaf-mute, hit-and-run, revenge, robbery