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The Fall Guy (1930)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Crime, Drama  |  15 June 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 53 users  
Reviews: 6 user

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:
Jack Mulhall ...
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


From the sensational stage hit by George Abbott and James Gleason. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


Passed | 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 »

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User Reviews

Pretty good for 1930--pretty tedious for 2008
27 April 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

My score of 6 is a balance between what the film deserved for a 1930 film as well as how it hold up today. For 1930, it was pretty good--with decent sound and plot. However, when seen today, the whole thing seems very stagy as well as hard to swallow. For folks like me who love old films, it's worth a look--though it bears none of the salaciousness you might hope to find in a "Pre-Code" gangster film.

I knew when the film began I was in for a bit of torture. Ned Sparks, a popular but occasionally annoying supporting player, was there in the first scene. Considering it was a gangster film, I was hoping he was the first victim, but no such luck. As a result, I has to watch and listen to his rather tired routine throughout the film. His deadpan sarcasm just seemed out of place and distracting here. Plus, giving him a saxophone to play (and play very badly) made his one of the more annoying supporting roles of the era.

Aside from Sparks, the rest of the film is just okay--nothing particularly special. It's all about an out of work and incredibly stupid man who decides the smart way out of debt is to be a "bag man" for the mob. Surprise, surprise, all does NOT go well and this leads to a decent showdown scene at the end. However, the stilted nature and talkiness of the film, something relatively common for 1930, was obvious. Not a great film, but a decent time-passer.

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