Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, December 10, 2019


Cosmo Jones is a correspondence-school detective from a small town -- shades of Philo Gubb! --who heads to the big city to offer his services to the police department.

Jones is played by Frank Graham who originated the role in the 15-minute CBS radio series Nightcap Yarns, also known as Armchair Adventures.  CBS aired the show in eleven western states and offered it to others thoughout the country merely for the cost of transcription until each station could find a sponsor.  Many of the stations found sponsors, but did not tell CBS, giving the stations a lot of "found" money while also hastening the demise of the show.

Gwen Kenyon plays Phyllis, an oil heiress rubbing shoulders with a local gangster.  When a member of a rival gang is murdered, an effort is made to kidnap Phyllis -- an act that Cosmo witnesses.  Cosmo is later with police sergeant Pat Flanagan (Richard Cromwell) when a shootout occurs and a bystander is wounded.  Chief Murphy (Edgar Kennedy) blames the wounding on Flanagan and demotes him.  It's up to Cosmo Jones and Flanagan's daughter (a blonde Gail Storm), along with porter Eustace Smith (Mantan Moreland) to set things straight.  Tristram Coffin, Herbert Rawlinson, Charles Jordan, Vince Barnett, and Mauritz Hugo are also featured.

Directed by James Tinling and written by Michael L. Simmons and Walter Gering, Cosmo Jones in the Crime Smasher came from Monogram Productions, one of the lowest of the low on Poverty Row.  Keep your expectations low while enjoying some pretty talented character actors.  There's a reason Cosmo Jones never became a Monogram franchise.

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