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The Public Defender (1931)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  1 August 1931 (USA)
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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 »



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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 »

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User Reviews

Great "b" mystery with a great plot and cast!!
28 October 2005 | by (Connecticut) – See all my reviews

This is a great early pic from RKO and one of the best! Picture the team of Richard Dix, Paul Hurst, and Boris Karloff as good guys?! They are out to clear the father of Dix's childhood sweetheart who they feel was wrongly accused of some crimes! Dix is great as the crusading hero who goes out of his way to offer his aide to the lovely Shirley Grey. There is plenty of action and mystery as the police try to catch the mysterious figure known as "The Reckoner"!. A mysterious figure who is committing some robberies and is stealing some strange items. This is sort of an early Green Hornet and Shadow type character. You will enjoy the fine performance by Dix. He has some great scenes and some great facial expressions! It was a pleasure to see the trio working together in this film and the ventures they get into! I would recommend this film to all "B" movie and mystery film buffs!! The direction is excellent and we see a great supporting cast with some fine performances also! Get a copy and sit and relax and enjoy this fine early classic!

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