I have been told by a reliable source that there are no available prints still extant of "Young Donovan's Kid" (1931), one of 18 releases that year featuring Boris Karloff. Richard Dix is the star, but Karloff no doubt steals it as Cokey Joe, a dope dealer who tries to corrupt young Jackie Cooper, a few months before "The Champ," his best-known film as a child. Dix, who starred in that year's Oscar winner for Best Picture, "Cimarron," would soon work with Karloff again in "The Public Defender," in which they worked in unison fighting corruption. Karloff worked with John Barrymore in "The Mad Genius," with Lionel Barrymore and Laurence Olivier in "The Yellow Ticket," with Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney in "Smart Money," with H. B. Warner and Robinson again in "Five Star Final," with Leo Carrillo, Robert Young, and Glenn Strange in "The Guilty Generation," with Paul Muni and George Raft in "Scarface," and with Regis Toomey in "Graft," the feature that brought him to the attention of Universal's ace James Whale. And all of these roles preceded his star-making efforts in "Frankenstein." By the end of the year, he had also completed "Tonight or Never," opposite Gloria Swanson and Melvyn Douglas (making his feature debut), and "Behind the Mask," opposite Jack Holt and Edward Van Sloan. Once he became a star, awaiting vehicles created just for his talents, Boris Karloff probably never had a happier year; he certainly didn't work again with such a diverse array of talented actors, many of whom remained lifelong friends, especially James Cagney, as both were co-founders of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.
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