Sometimes a movie has no intrinsic merit, but after a while is valuable watching because of how it reflects the times. I like it better when the reflection is some element from film history.
This is a piece of the era, a time before the code, deep in the depression. A time when it was clear (as it is now) that a whole nation suffers so a few can get rich. A time when it was noble to think of a little, exceedingly simple Joe standing up bigtime moneymen.
It was a time when the US was pretty close to flipping into communism of some stripe.
The story involves a guy in the fight business. An older, retired fighter who is dumber now than when born. He's a trainer, which in those days also meant masseur. He's a con. Reliable James Gleason plays his con sidekick, East Side accent jabbering.
There's a brother and a rich man's daughter. Big oil swindles. Intimidation and killing. All ordinary and uninteresting.
What IS interesting as all getout is that this was made at all, the palooka who brings down the big bosses in front of the people's senate no less.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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