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X Marks the Spot (1931)

Passed  -  Crime | Drama  -  13 December 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.6/10 from 14 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

The story begins in 1923 where after an accident, a newspaper reporter needs to raise $5,000 to pay for an operation, otherwise his young sister will be crippled for life. The desperate ... See full summary »



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Credited cast:
Lew Cody ...
George Howe
Wallace Ford ...
Ted Lloyd
Fred Kohler ...
Vivian Parker
Virginia Lee Corbin ...
Helen Parrish ...
Gloria, as a Child
Joyce Coad ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Tucker


The story begins in 1923 where after an accident, a newspaper reporter needs to raise $5,000 to pay for an operation, otherwise his young sister will be crippled for life. The desperate reporter is finally able to get the cash from a shady acquaintance, Riggs. Eight years later in New York, circumstances conspire to place the reporter as the number one suspect in the murder of a showgirl. With no witness or alibi, the reporter devises a plan to smoke out the real culprit. A meeting is arranged under the cover of night and to the surprise of both men, the murderer is Riggs. Out of gratitude for past generosity to his sister, the reporter agrees not to expose Riggs, however unwittingly leads the police to him! Riggs is found guilty, and a dramatic scene in the courthouse ensues. Written by bughouse

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SHOW GIRL ACCUSES COLUMNIST OF LIBEL (original poster-all caps) See more »


Crime | Drama






Release Date:

13 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le reportage tragique  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Reporters, crooks and conscience
25 January 2014 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is certainly one of the most unusual of the many reporter-and-crime movies of the 30s - and unfortunately, it seems to have sunk almost into oblivion. Here we've got that genuine, unique newsroom atmosphere, the cheeky, wisecracking reporters who are always after a big headline, with their favorite subject of course a capital crime - but we've also got a LOT more than that: a personal story that links one of the reporters to a well-known crook who, in a wave of compassion and decency, gives him the 5000 dollars that he needs for the operation of his little sister who's been in an accident and otherwise would never be able to walk again...

Time passes - and fate brings the two together again: the reporter writes a very revealing article about an important personality having an affair with a showgirl, and she sues the paper for an incredible sum. He goes to her luxury apartment to persuade her to revoke her charge, but fails and leaves - and the next morning the girl is found dead in her living room: 'X marks the spot' on the carpet where she lay

  • and now the reporter, who was the last one to be seen with her, is

suspect number one... Big headlines for his newspaper - but a murder charge for him.

He investigates on his own, and notices that there are certain valuable pieces of jewelry missing from the showgirl's possessions; which leads him to - the crook who had helped his sister get well. And what's more: HE's the murderer, as he himself tells him when he asks him to return his favor now and get him some money. Now, in turn, the reporter's conscience awakes, and he agrees and promises him that he won't betray him, even though he faces the same charge...

But then again, fate plays a trick on both of them - and the rest really goes beyond any 'usual' reporter crime movie... See for yourself; this is a movie that obviously far too few people have watched - and it's WORTH watching.

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