I would classify this early 1930s gangster flick as "ordinary" but that's better than you think, because these kind of movies ordinarily are fast-paced, a bit edgy, have unique language to them and generally are pretty interesting...and they are short films, which isn't always bad, either.
This one features Walter Huston as the hard-nosed committed cop trying to clean up his crime-ridden city with the eventual goal getting to the number one guy: the "beast" of the city. The ending is a wild one and commented on by a number of reviewers, here and elsewhere.
A subplot involves Huston's younger brother (Wallace Ford), also a lawman, who is corrupted and then, after being exposed, tries to atone for his sins at the end. Jean Harlow also stars in this film. Frankly, I never found her as sexy as her reputation, but she is excellent in here and very interesting to view. Finally, we also get to see a very young Mickey Rooney, as one of Huston's children. He didn't have many lines but you knew it was him with that smile and all those teeth!
Let's hope someone puts this out on DVD. It's too good to be a secret.
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