Big-city mouthpiece Richard Dix seeks to bring his brother’s killers to justice in a Nevada mining town in Special Investigator, a 1936 RKO “B” entry based on an Erle Stanley Gardner story.
One of James Cagney’s classic gangster movies, The Roaring Twenties (1939) also boasts an especially nasty Humphrey Bogart in its cast, plus strong work from Gladys George. Post includes background about writer Mark Hellinger, real-life roaring twenties personalities Larry Fay and Texas Guinan, plus a look at a pre-Code predecessor Broadway Thru a Keyhole (1933).
Edward G. Robinson in an early gangster role that’s supposed to take a backseat to early talkie attraction Alice White. Film works for fans of both.
Josef von Sternberg’s Underworld (1927) inspires a cycle of gangster films that stretches beyond the late silent era. A look at the performances of George Bancroft, Evelyn Brent, and Clive Brook, and the relationship between their characters.
RKO-Pathe pre-Code gangster film Bad Company (1931) stars Ricardo Cortez with Helen Twelvetrees and John Garrick. Directed by Tay Garnett.
Brief look at Paramount pre-Code THE GIRL IN 419 (1933), gangster movie and hospital drama starring James Dunn with Gloria Stuart, David Manners, and William Harrigan. Directed by Alexander Hall and George Somnes.
Lightning review takes a brief look at transitional Paramount talkie Chinatown Nights (1929) starring Wallace Beery, Florence Vidor, and Warner Oland. Directed by William A. Wellman.
Famed for its part in leading to the end of outlaw John Dillinger’s life, and revered by movie buffs as the first of the William Powell-Myrna Loy team-ups, MGM’s Manhattan Melodrama is a solid underworld effort highlighted by a top performance from Clark Gable.
A band of kidnappers return to their hideout with $200,000 in ransom money in Show Them No Mercy. They find a stranded family at the house and have no choice but to hold them captive until they make sure the ransom money is good.
One of three pre-Code titles directed by temperamental Rowland Brown, Blood Money (1933) stars George Bancroft as a bail bondsman to the underworld with Frances Dee as a young kleptomaniac with an “underworld mania” and a desire for a strong man to dominate her. Feature debut for Judith Anderson.