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The Secret Six (1931)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  18 April 1931 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 468 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 13 critic

After rising bootlegger Slaughterhouse Scorpio eliminates his gangland competition, two reporters and a cabal of six businessmen work to expose him.

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(as George Hill)

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Title: The Secret Six (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Newton
...
Hank (as John Mack Brown)
...
Anne
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Paul Hurst ...
Mizoski - the Gouger
...
Carl
...
Johnny Franks
John Miljan ...
Colimo
DeWitt Jennings ...
Donlin
Murray Kinnell ...
Metz
Fletcher Norton ...
Delano
Louis Natheaux ...
Eddie
Frank McGlynn Sr. ...
Judge (as Frank McGlynn)
Theodore von Eltz ...
District Attorney (as Theodore Von Eltz)
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Storyline

Bootlegger/cafe owner Ralph Bellamy recruits crude working man Wallace Beery to join his gang which is masterminded by crooked criminal defense lawyer Lewis Stone. Beery eventually takes over Bellamy's operation, beats a rival gang, becomes wealthy and dominates the city for several years until a secret group of 6 masked businessmen have him prosecuted and sent to the electric chair with the help of rival crusading newspapermen Clark Gable and Johnny Mack Brown. Waitress Jean Harlow is torn between her love for the honest newsman Brown and her financial dependence on her generous boss, Beery. Written by Sandra Bockelman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 April 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Guarda Secreta  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After previewing Warner Bros. upcoming releases of "Public Enemy" and "Little Caeser," MGM production chief Irving Thalberg commissioned writer Francis Marion to come up with MGM's first real "talking" gangster picture. See more »

Goofs

When Slaughterhouse is dividing up the money, the cash wad mysteriously switches from being held in both hands to just his right hand. See more »

Quotes

Newton: [after being shot in the back by Scorpio] Well, that serves me right. That's the first time I ever turned my back on you, you rat!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played at the party for Scorpio
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Very Modern
25 July 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This crime drama features both an excellent cast and an excellent script by Frances Marion. The story could easily be filmed today and become a huge box office hit. Louie Scorpio (Wallace Beery) is an uneducated meathead from the streets with a thirst for money. He learns that bootlegging is a great way to get what he wants, so he joins up with Johnny (Ralph Bellamy) and "Newt" (Lewis Stone) who run a powerful gang in town. After bumping Johnny off, Louie becomes the leader and fixes half the town in his favor. Among the most desirable allies are the town reporters Hank (Johnny Mack Brown) and Carl (Clark Gable). He uses a beautiful dame (Jean Harlow) to keep them in line, but can't seem to shake the cops.

For an early talkie, the camera-work here is surprisingly innovative. There are scenes that feel very static and others that move fluidly through various sets. The lighting is fantastic and creates a beauty for a bleak storyline. Unfortunately, the sound quality isn't so impressive. Sometimes the dialogue is difficult to understand, so the story can become confusing in some areas. Thankfully, audiences will be able to figure things out fairly easily.


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