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THE ORIGINAL SPUNKY GIRL REPORTER
A Video Review of The Adventures of Jane Arden
Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker
This gem from 1939 is typical B-movie filler for the period. At barely less than an hour long The Adventures of Jane Arden is based on the girl reporter comic strip by Monte Barrett and Russell E. Ross.
“Jane Arden” the comic strip began in 1927 and had moderate success in the United States but was huge in Canada and Australia. It is predominantly remembered for the cut out paper doll outfits included every Sunday for use on your own cardboard Jane Arden doll. And I thought superhero comics were sometimes bizarre.
This movie that seems like a brutally short serial was directed by film veteran Terry Morse who would go on to do other offbeat classics like The List of Adrian Messenger, Robinson Crusoe on Mars and the 1956 American version of Godzilla, King of the Monsters!.
Girl reporter Jane Arden is played by Rosella Towne who suffered from a very short career of little note which is unfortunate because she showed promise. William Gargan is quite good here as Ed Towers. He gained fame later on as TV’s “Martin Kane, Private Eye.” Dennie (not Demi) Moore is a delight as the lovelorn editor Teenie. Moore is probably best known for her small bit in The Women as the tattling manicurist.
She might seem like a third rate Nancy Drew at first but Jane Arden has her own style and spunk. You might say she’s the original spunky girl reporter. The story of The Adventures of Jane Arden has our girl going undercover to snag jewel smugglers is pretty simple for this mini chapterplay but it’s enough and plays out well for under an hour.
Jane Arden was the precursor to Lois Lane and Brenda Starr who has become lost in our time. She was the spunky girl reporter prototype, a role model for girls everywhere who liked paper dolls. Check out The Adventures of Jane Arden. It’s a nice entertaining time capsule.