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Night Beat (1931)

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A young couple finds themselves mixed up with mobsters planning to rob a warehouse.



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Title: Night Beat (1931)

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Cast overview:
Jack Mulhall ...
Johnny Molinas
Eleanor Patterson
Martin Andrews
Harry Cording ...
Chill Scarpelli (as Harry Gording)
William A. Williams ...
Vince (as Bill Williams)
Harry Semels ...
Enricco Pommetti (as Harry Semil)
Richard Cramer ...
Detective Featherstone (as Dick Cramer)
Ernie Adams ...
Hymie Weissenkorn


A young couple finds themselves mixed up with mobsters planning to rob a warehouse.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

27 December 1931 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Mussolini versus the Mafia ...
8 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... is the odd theme of this off-beat poverty row gangster film from 1931. Martin and Johnny are WWI war buddies. After the war, Martin is with an urban police department and Johnny becomes a gangster. Martin has tried locking up the local gangster (Chill Scarpelli and his mob) the completely on-the-level way, and it hasn't worked. When Scarpelli's mob unsuccessfully shakes down an Italian merchant and in retaliation Scarpelli vandalizes his store, the Italian tells Martin that Mussolini's way is best - that "get out or get shot" should be the law's attitude with gangsters. Martin likes this idea and, knowing Johnny is a gangster, employs his old army buddy and his mob to eradicate the Scarpelli mob using any means necessary. Johnny takes on this assignment with gusto. But is Johnny just cleaning out Scarpelli to take over his territory or is he doing a friend a favor? On top of that potential problem, Martin's girl and Johnny take a shine to one another.

The acting and production values are nothing to write home about here, but if you're interested in history at all - and not necessarily film history at that - this film has got to appeal to you. It acts as a period piece showing just how close we may have come to adopting Fascism, and how for awhile in the early 30's, their result-driven methods probably appealed to many jobless Depression-weary Americans.

Jack Mulhall is good here as gangster Johnny, and Patsy Ruth Miller does a good job of playing the girl who really likes Martin, but finds herself loving Johnny. Both of these actors had seen better days in silents. For some reason they just didn't go over with audiences once movies adopted sound.

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