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The Secret Six (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 18 April 1931 (USA)
After rising bootlegger Slaughterhouse Scorpio eliminates his gangland competition, two reporters and a cabal of six businessmen work to expose him.

Director:

(as George Hill)

Writer:

(story and dialogue)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Richard Newton - Attorney at Law
...
Hank Rogers (as John Mack Brown)
...
...
...
Nick Mizoski - the Gouger
...
...
Johnny Franks
John Miljan ...
Joe Colimo
DeWitt Jennings ...
Chief of Police Donlin
Murray Kinnell ...
Metz - the Dummy
Fletcher Norton ...
Jimmy Delano
Louis Natheaux ...
Eddie
...
Judge (as Frank McGlynn)
...
District Attorney Keeler (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

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

The murder of Johnny Mack Brown's Hank character is reminiscent of the sensational murder of Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle, who had ties to organized crime, in 1930, but instead of being shot on the subway as Brown is, the real Lingle was gunned down in a tunnel leading to the train. 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

Carl: Hello, honey. Where'd you come from?
Steak House Receptionist: A stork brought me.
Carl: Oh, yeah? Well, you could bring me one.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Boardwalk Empire: Cuanto (2014) 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

 
Terrific early gangster flick
11 August 2004 | by (California) – See all my reviews

In the '30s, Warner Bros. specialized in gritty, violent urban crime dramas, and no studio did them better. This tough-as-nails gangster film is, surprisingly enough, from MGM, and compares favorably with the Warners product--in fact, it comes out ahead in several respects. The cast is terrific--with Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Ralph Bellamy and Clark Gable, to name a few--and George Hill's direction is as energetic and forceful as any of the directors at Warners. Another bonus is the well-known MGM gloss; it may have been just a B picture, but a "B" at MGM was as good as, and often better than, an "A" at other studios. Although this is one of Gable's earlier performances, his star quality is unmistakable--he explodes onto the screen, his good looks and charm in full force. Ralph Bellamy, whose career was spent mostly playing good-natured second leads, does a top-notch job as a two-timing, scheming gang leader who gets his just desserts after a double-cross. Even Wallace Beery manages to rein in his tendency to ham it up and contributes a solid job as the murderous "Slaughterhouse" Scorpio, who takes over Bellamy's gang. Lewis Stone as a corrupt lawyer who actually runs the gang shows what a good job he could do when given a part he could sink his teeth into, and Jean Harlow proved that she wasn't just another pretty face (and great body); she really shines in the last part of the film, especially during the courtroom scenes. This is a first-rate picture, with sharp writing, tough, no-nonsense direction and superior performances from all concerned. Don't miss it.


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