MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 95,874 this week

Enemies of Society (1933)
"The Big Brain" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  5 August 1933 (USA)
5.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 15 users  
Reviews: 1 user

Add a Plot

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Enemies of Society (1933)

Enemies of Society (1933) on IMDb 5.7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Enemies of Society.
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Max Werner
Phillips Holmes ...
Terry Van Sloan
...
Cynthia Glennon
Minna Gombell ...
Margy
Lilian Bond ...
Dorothy Norton
...
Lord Darlington
Berton Churchill ...
Col. Higginbotham
Reginald Mason ...
Lord Latham
Sam Hardy ...
Slick Ryan
Randall Stake ...
Scoop
Edgar Norton ...
Butler
Charles McNaughton ...
Wallack
Lucien Littlefield ...
Justice of the Peace
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Dan Thomas
Edit

Storyline

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lost film

Genres:

Drama

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Enemies of Society  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is presumed lost. Please check your attic. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Kid Millions (1934) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Runyonesque runt.
5 January 2005 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

The first time I saw the movie 'Guys and Dolls', with its chorus line of phony Damon Runyon gangsters, I noticed that one character didn't fit in with the rest of the mob: a petty crook named Society Max, played by a runty little actor named George E Stone. His part was undersized (like the actor himself), yet he seemed to be in a completely different movie from everyone else. 'Where'd they find this guy?' I wondered. 'Couldn't they have found someone who fit in with the rest of the cast?' But I noticed Stone, and as I learnt more about this actor I understood why he didn't fit in: because George E Stone was the genuine article in a crowd full of fakes. In real life, Stone was a drinking buddy of Damon Runyon and more than a few gangsters. If Stone's screen portrayals of petty crooks didn't fit the Hollywood template, that's because he based his performances on reality, instead of reinforcing cinema stereotypes.

'The Big Brain', a low-budget second feature, gives Stone a rare chance at a leading role, though he's playing a little man in the figurative sense as well as the literal one. Max Werner (Stone) is a runty egotist who fancies he's catnip to the ladies. A confidence trickster named Sam Ryan is impressed with Werner's nerve, and gives him a job as a bonds salesman ... selling fake bonds. Werner decides he likes being a crook, but the bond racket is getting too hot for him, so he scarpers to England (courtesy of some unconvincing RKO set design and stock shots), and starts swindling the milords and the miladies. But then Werner meets a pretty woman who seems to be attracted to him. Does she actually see something in this guy, or has she got a cute angle that he's too obtuse to notice?

George E Stone's sheer talent and personality go a considerable way towards putting this over, but he's seriously undercut by the fact that the English characters in this movie are all very implausible stereotypes of the 'I say, old boy' variety ... despite the presence of a couple of genuine Brits in the cast. The movie's pacing is poor, the direction is weak, and some camera set-ups are downright annoying. The script is more than slightly amusing, but the ending manages to be both contrived and obvious. SPOILER: The lady who seems to love Werner is really just a decoy to get him arrested. Robert Emmett O'Connor (the second-team William Frawley), who played sour-faced detectives in several other movies, repeats that turn here ... and his presence is welcome, even though O'Connor doesn't do anything here that he didn't do better in 'A Night at the Opera'. Lucien Littlefield is amusing in a supporting role. Littlefield was a sorely underrated performer, who was so protean that most viewers don't realise his wide range of portrayals were all the same actor. Phillips Holmes gives his usual neurasthenic effeminate performance. Fans of Fay Wray will see nothing special here. Mostly from the pleasure I got in seeing George E Stone play a lead role, I'll rate this weak movie 6 points out of 10.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Enemies of Society (1933) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?