When a hapless pharmacist loses his job and falls in with criminals, he's soon made The Fall Guy. Unemployed, Johnny Quinlan (Jack Mulhall) starts doing jobs for underworld chieftain Nifty ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Johnny Quinlan
Bertha Quinlan
Ned Sparks ...
Danny Walsh
Wynne Gibson ...
Lottie Quinlan
Pat O'Malley ...
Charles Newton
Thomas E. Jackson ...
'Nifty' Herman
Tom Kennedy ...
Detective Burke
Alan Roscoe ...
Detective Joe Keefe
James Donlan ...
The Bill Collector


When a hapless pharmacist loses his job and falls in with criminals, he's soon made The Fall Guy. Unemployed, Johnny Quinlan (Jack Mulhall) starts doing jobs for underworld chieftain Nifty Herman (Thomas Jackson), who plans to use Johnny as a dupe to cover up his own shady activities. Herman plants a illegal drugs on Quinlan, who is nabbed by federal agent Charles Newton (Pat O'Malley). But in a twist, Quinlan convinces Newton to allow him to trick Herman into a confession.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Smiles! Laughs! Roars! Giggle with this good-humored guy...the original sap, wouldn't bite on the Brooklyn Bridge gag but wanted the Woolworth tower wrapped up for wifey's birthday present! See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 June 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Trust Your Wife  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Fall Guy opened at the Eltinge 42nd Street Theater in New York City, New York, USA on 10 March 1925 and ran for 95 performances, closing in June 1925. The opening night cast included Ernest Truex as Johnnie Quinlan and Dorothy Peterson as Lottie Quinlan. See more »


Johnny Quinlan: Well, what can you expect from a guy, whose own sister, makes his flat a meetin' place for a lot of bulls!
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User Reviews

The Fall Guy
19 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Although the audible film of "The Fall Guy," the play by James Gleason and George Abbott, is a little crude in spots, it at least succeeds in holding the attention, the action being fairly good combination of comedy and drama. The characters are moderately well delineated, except the part of a sluggard, played by Ned Sparks, who, however, stirred up no little laughter by his futile attempts to play a tune on a saxophone.

The rôle of Johnny Quinlan, which was played on the stage by Ernest Truex, is entrusted to Jack Mulhall, who gives a better account of himself than he has done in other talking films. His performance, however, is not comparable with that of Mr. Truex. Thomas Jackson, who may be remembered for his acting of the detective in the stage version of "Broadway," appears here as the reprehensible "Nifty" Herman. Mr. Jackson's acting is not vastly different from his efforts in other rôles, but at the same time he manages to put a certain amount of life into this "Nifty" Herman.

There are moments when the players in this film talk too loudly. It is not an explosion of sound, but at the same time one feels reasonably certain that Quinlan and Dan Walsh (Mr. Sparks) would be overheard in an adjoining room. Then, too, occasionally the expressions of the persons involved would, in everyday life, cause them to be suspected of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, a spectator is apt to want to know how this story is going to end, for it is blessed with a great deal more originality than the average run of talking pictures.

In the first chapter, Johnny Quinlan, has lost his job. He does not dare to tell his wife and therefore pretends that he is employed. From Quinlan's actions, one would imagine that Bertha Quinlan would have suspected her husband of being out of work long before she does. Quinlan eventually becomes entangled with "Nifty" Herman, who craftily lends the younger man $15. Johnnie tries to steer clear of the designing "Nifty," but it chances that the latter needs somebody to take a suitcase out of his office. Quinlan is almost desperate by that time and consents to go to work for "Nifty," who expatiates upon the chances Johnnie whill have while employed by a bootlegger. Johnnie takes the suitcase, which he thinks contains alcoholic liquor and carries it to his home. Bertha notices the bag and at once insists that her husband return it immediately to "Nifty." The suspense is all the keener for having Charles Newton, head of the narcotic squad of detectives, in love with Bertha's sister. He is in the humble little flat when Quinlan, having discovered that "Nifty's" office is closed, comes back with the bag and conceals it as best he can under a rocking chair. Of course it is not long before it is discovered and poor Quinlan finds himself being interrgated by Newton, for, to his dismay, the suitcase contains a large quantity of drugs.

The ending is adroitly arranged with a surprise coming from the ignominious "Nifty." Mae Clarke is decidedly clever as Bertha. Pat O'Malley is acceptable as Newton.

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