6.4/10
122
5 user 5 critic

The Public Defender (1931)

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

Director:

Writers:

(by), (adaptation)
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

On a Greek island during the 1912 war, several people are trapped by quarantine for the plague. If that isn't enough worry, one of the people, a superstitious old peasant woman, suspects ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer
Certificate: Passed Adventure | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A dozen British soldiers, lost in a Mesopotamian desert during world war I, are menaced by unseen Arab enemies.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford
Certificate: Passed Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Dick Tracy goes up against a villain who robs banks using a nerve gas.

Director: John Rawlins
Stars: Boris Karloff, Ralph Byrd, Anne Gwynne
Crime | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When Dr. Savaard's experiment in cryonics is interrupted by the short-sighted authorities, his volunteer dies, and he is condemned to death. He vows vengeance if he can survive his own hanging.

Director: Nick Grinde
Stars: Boris Karloff, Lorna Gray, Robert Wilcox
Mystery
    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
Crime | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Dr. Thomas Bolton fights for the use of anesthetic in surgery and uses himself as a guinea pig but soon finds himself addicted.

Director: Robert Day
Stars: Boris Karloff, Betta St. John, Christopher Lee
Doomed to Die (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Mr. Wong and a girl reporter investigate a shipping magnate's murder.

Director: William Nigh
Stars: Boris Karloff, Marjorie Reynolds, Grant Withers
Cracked Nuts (1931)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

To impress his fiancee's aunt, a young man tries to become king in a small kingdom, but the people there have already crowned one, who has won this honor by gambling. So he plans a coup ... See full summary »

Director: Edward F. Cline
Stars: Bert Wheeler, Robert Woolsey, Dorothy Lee
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones devoid of emotion.

Director: Philip Kaufman
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A crusader tries to keep a dope dealer from corrupting children.

Director: Fred Niblo
Stars: Richard Dix, Marion Shilling, Jackie Cooper
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A crippled man finds a boy and vows to make him a great dancer.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: John Barrymore, Marian Marsh, Charles Butterworth
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
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
John Kirk
Ruth Weston ...
Rose Harmer
...
Frank Wells
...
Charles Harmer
Alan Roscoe ...
Inspector Malcolm O'Neill
...
The Professor
...
Aunt Matilda
...
Doc
Carl Gerard ...
Cyrus Pringle
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Detective Brady (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
...
Thomas Drake (as Phillip Smalley)
Edit

Storyline

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 <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Million Dollar Swindle  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

 
Better than you'd might suspect.
3 February 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

To most, Pike Winslow (Richard Dix) is just some rich playboy living off Daddy's fortune. However, there is quite a bit more to him than this--he is a crusading masked hero whose calling card announces that he's 'The Reckoner'! And, with his two friends (Paul Hurst and Boris Karloff), they are out to right wrongs.

The film begins with a bank officer getting accused for the bank's shortage of funds--and all the other officers ganging up on him to place this blame. However, Winslow know the man and his family and can't help but think he's being railroaded. So, the Reckoner and his friends go to work--stealing documents from the real crooks that would implicate them.

All in all, this B-movie plays a lot like a very well-written and understated series film--such as Bulldog Drummond, the Saint, the Shadow or the like. But, the film is better written and quite exciting compared to a typical film of the genre. Too bad they didn't make some sequels--I would have enjoyed seeing further adventures of the Reckoner. Of course, given that 1931 also saw Karloff in "Frankenstein", perhaps he just better things to do than appear in more of these films.


1 of 1 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:
?