Up 49,602 this week

The Public Defender (1931)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  1 August 1931 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 117 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 5 critic

Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal.... See full summary »



(by), (adaptation)
0Check in

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1820 titles
created 11 Aug 2011
a list of 254 titles
created 02 Jan 2012
a list of 4618 titles
created 15 Jan 2013
list image
a list of 2913 titles
created 10 Jul 2013
a list of 499 titles
created 30 Jul 2013

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Public Defender (1931)

The Public Defender (1931) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Public Defender.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After a failed attempt at running for governor, D.A. Mark Brady is appointed warden of the state prison where many of the criminals he prosecuted are incarcerated.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: Walter Huston, Phillips Holmes, Constance Cummings
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A federal agent goes undercover to infiltrate a drug smuggling operation headed by a mysterious Mr. X, a criminal mastermind whose identity is unknown even to his henchmen. Mr. X is also ... See full summary »

Director: John Francis Dillon
Stars: Jack Holt, Constance Cummings, Boris Karloff
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Detective tries to solve the murder of antiques collector who was in possession of a famous jewel known as "The Eye of the Daugther of The Moon."

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Grant Withers, Dorothy Tree
Phantom Ship (1935)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

During a horrific storm at sea, the crew realizes that there is a murderer among them who is killing them off one by one.

Director: Denison Clift
Stars: Bela Lugosi, Shirley Grey, Arthur Margetson
Scarface (1932)
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson
Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Marine lieutenants Dan and Jim fight bandits in the South American jungle, while competing for the attention of beautiful Joan Grant.

Directors: George Nichols Jr., Benjamin Stoloff
Stars: Richard Dix, Chester Morris, Lucille Ball
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

John Smith is a young architect who changed his name from Marco Ricca when he realized that being a notorious bootlegger's son was not likely to help his career. Maria Palmiero's father is ... See full summary »

Director: Rowland V. Lee
Stars: Leo Carrillo, Constance Cummings, Robert Young


Complete credited cast:
Shirley Grey ...
Purnell Pratt ...
John Kirk
Ruth Weston ...
Rose Harmer
Edmund Breese ...
Frank Wells
Frank Sheridan ...
Charles Harmer
Alan Roscoe ...
Inspector Malcolm O'Neill
The Professor
Aunt Matilda
Paul Hurst ...
Carl Gerard ...
Cyrus Pringle
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Detective Brady (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Phillips Smalley ...
Thomas Drake (as Phillip Smalley)


Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal. Using meticulous planning and split-second timing, Pike, along with his associates, the erudite 'Professor' and tough-guy scrapper 'Doc', attempt to find proof that will clear Gerry and identify the real culprits. Written by Doug Sederberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Million Dollar Swindle  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Little Daddy (1931) and a Toby the Pup cartoon played before this film in some venues during it's original release. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

What's not to like about this one?
18 June 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Reckoner", a vigilante of sorts, does the things that the police won't do - he brings lying stealing greedy banksters to justice. Considering what's been going on in the country the last three years as I'm writing this, the plot itself should win this one lots of fans.

It's a shame that if Richard Dix is remembered at all it's often for his part in Best Picture winner Cimarron - his hammiest performance - rather than gems like this one. Here Richard Dix plays millionaire Pike Winslow, heir to a large fortune who, though well liked among the wealthy crowd, seems to be a bit of an idler. However, the truth of the matter is that he is "The Reckoner" who - along with two faithful assistants - steals incriminating documents from perpetrators of financial fraud and then does some financial forensic analysis to shine a spotlight on their crimes. The amusing thing here is that Pike's forensic analyst, "The Professor", is played by Boris Karloff. He pulls off the role of the erudite man of letters devoted to the cause of The Reckoner quite well.

I couldn't help seeing the parallels between The Reckoner and Batman here. It would have been nice if, back when Warner Brothers was building deluxe DVD sets, they had put this movie as an extra to one of their Batman DVD releases - Warner Brothers owns the RKO library and therefore this film - plus this movie is unusual for early RKO properties in that it is in a very watchable state already. Highly recommended for anyone who likes an old thriller.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Public Defender (1931) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: