The Rookie Cop (1939) Poster

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5/10
A clichéd crime drama that kids and dog lovers will enjoy.
Art-2221 February 1999
Tim Holt is fine as the title character but the film is full of the clichés common with B pictures of this sort: a police commissioner who hates dogs; the hero being captured; an all-too-easy escape, etc. And why would any man bring his girl along to investigate a place where known killers may possibly be present? To add suspense, of course! It's a watchable movie, but kids and dog fanciers will enjoy it more than I did. Ace is billed 4th as "The Wonder Dog," and he is in the tradition of smart dogs that Rin Tin Tin began in the silent era. Janet Shaw is lovely to look at as the love interest, and not a bad actress either. Virginia Weidler, as the next door neighbor kid who wants to become a cop, provides the only comic relief, and is a plus. I've always been fond of her. She's there for the kids to root for and I'm sure all will cheer when she gets to shoot her water gun full of onion juice into the eyes of a baddie.

Our forgetful filmmakers department: When Janet Shaw reads a newspaper account of a crime, we see the name in print as "Midgit Mason," but she reads it as "Monte Mason," the name the guy (Monte Montague) was called in the film.
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7/10
Ace is a great scene stealer for a star dog
Ed-Shullivan17 November 2016
I always enjoy Tim Holt as an actor who is most notable for his many good performances as a cowboy out on the trail. In Tim Holt's westerns he is usually accompanied by a comical sidekick. In "The Rookie Cop" I felt the roles were reversed. The real star of this film is Ace the German Shepherd dog who travels on patrol with his partner rookie cop, Clem Maitland played by Tim Holt.

Although the story line has been done a thousand times over, which is the old plot where the bad guys seem to be a step ahead of the eventual film's hero by cheating, lying, and stealing, eventually good overcomes evil.

Ace is in great form simply by opening car doors, attacking the bad guys by their arms, freeing his partner Clem whose hands were tied, and sniffing out the bad guys. Of course this is not a heavy crime drama, and most film fans know that Ace is going to come out on top, but 'eh, who doesn't like a dog hero? Tim Holt is good too, but Ace is the star if you like dog hero films as I do.

Woof...Woof...Woof...I give the film 3 out of 4 Woof's.
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4/10
My German shepherd is just as smart as Ace!
Handlinghandel4 June 2007
She is and I'd say this is a movie primarily for lovers of dogs. I've had shepherds for many years and often had people on the street call the Ace the Wonder Dog. So here he is.

Ace is the pet of the title character. Tim Holt plays the honest young police officer who knows his dog can help at his job. Virginia Weidler is a neighbor. I always enjoy her. Here she has a fluffy little female fog Ace kind of likes.

There are lots of bad guys here. A bad gal or two, as well. The plot is very far from original. It's a pastiche of clichés.

But Ace does his job. I won't say how he fares as a crime fighter. But he certainly saves the movie
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7/10
"B" Movie Gem
redryan6421 August 2016
THIS IS A RATHER unique bit of "B" film-making. With he distinct risk of sounding totally egocentric, we must admit that it's a real surprise that our considerable knowledge of movies of all sorts, we had never heard of this title.

THE CAST PROVES to be up to the task of giving us a good, "family" type picture that do make Walt Disney proud! Lacking any well known or even familiar by face to the movie goer. Those chosen prove to be a most capable of a repertoire company. Maybe this lack of popular familiarity proved to be beneficial to the overall effect of the picture; as no actor would be seen as typecast as some other "B" in some other studio's output.

THE OME EXCEPTION to this exercise in anonymity is the Star of the Show, Tim Holt. The young Master Holt had been on screen dating back to the last days of the silent; with the guidance and blessings of father, film actor, Jack Holt. The youthful Holt literally grew up before the camera, eventually earning his own "B" Western series at RKO; which proved to have a great "shelf life" with the Saturday Matinée Crowd.*

AS TO THE picture (which is supposed to be the object of our review), it may well be a fine example of what makes a great popcorn movie. The production crew carefully blends the proper portions of fantasy, childhood adventure, cops & robbers action and America's love affair with our puppy dogs (by way of ACE THE SWONDER DOG) into an enjoyable juvenile romp.

IN MANY RESPECTS this movie has roots in several other sections of popular fiction. Most obvious is the resemblance to the comic strip, RADIO PATROL; or at least it's serial adaptation from Universal (1937). The relationship is further obvious in its childlike view of police work and for the "flat foots" themselves.

ONE ADDITIONAL OBSERVATION we have noticed is a physical resemblance to the considerable output of paintings done by Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) for the SARURDAY EVENING POST. This may be viewed as being sappy to some; but we think this would be a most worthwhile goal to pursue for the tired, shabby America and World in which we live.

NOTE: * The long, highly successful screen career of Tim Holt was reached the very zenith of fame & fortune when he was cast along with Humphrey Bogart, Walter Houston, Bruce Bennett and Barton MacLane in TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (Warner Brothers, 1948). We've read that the role that Mr. Holt won had been intended for John Garfield; who had left the studio before the film was made.
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