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Picture Snatcher (1933)

 -  Drama | Crime  -  6 May 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 768 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 12 critic

Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't ... See full summary »



(based on a story by), (adaptation), 3 more credits »
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Title: Picture Snatcher (1933)

Picture Snatcher (1933) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Complete credited cast:
Patricia Ellis ...
Alice White ...
Ralf Harolde ...
Jerry the Mug
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Lieutenant Casey Nolan
Robert Barrat ...
Grover - Graphic News Owner
G. Pat Collins ...
Hennessy the Fireman (as George Pat Collins)
Arthur Vinton ...
John - the Head Keeper
Tom Wilson ...


Ex-convict Danny Kean decides to become honest as a photographer for a paper. He falls in love with Patricia, the daughter of the policeman who arrested him. Mr Nolan, her father, doesn't like that relation at first, but McLean, Kean's boss, convinces him of Kean's good nature. But Kean uses his relation to Patricia to make a photo of an execution. Due to this, Nolan loses his stripes and Kean isn't allowed to see Patricia any longer. But when one of his former friends kills two policemen, Kean sees his chance.... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His camera takes 'em from love nests to Page One before they can bat an eye---or put on a negligee!


Drama | Crime


Not Rated




Release Date:

6 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Picture Snatcher  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First cinema film of Vaughn Taylor. See more »


During the car chase after Danny has left the execution at Sing Sing, the car loses its left rear tire. However, in a couple of shots from the front of the vehicle as it careens out of control, the left rear tire is visibly intact. See more »


[Danny is giving a tour of his newspaper's printing room]
Journalism Student: Yes, here it is - white wood pulp, plain white... Why, today it's raw, but tonight it's cooked with printer's ink, photographic art, the sweat of creative effort. Tomorrow it goes out and hundreds of thousands of men and women feed their starving, mediocre souls on the indiscretions and adventures of others. And then, a little while later, what is it?
Danny Kean: Don't you know? They use it to wrap herring.
See more »


Featured in Brother Can You Spare a Dime (1975) See more »


I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles
(1918) (uncredited)
Music by James Kendis, James Brockman and Nat Vincent
Played as background piano music in the bar
See more »

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User Reviews

30 June 2006 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I'd like to recommend this to you for a couple reasons.

I'm right now doing a survey of films that feature newsrooms. Its a simple sort of fold that wouldn't work today. Amazingly, right after seeing this, I saw the new "Superman Returns." Horrid little move, but it reminded me that Superman was invented in the 30s and that's why we have Lois as a reporter.

In the 30s there were hundreds of movies set in newsrooms. Its roughly the same as a movie about the movie business, since the creation of stories and modeling of life was essentially a writer's game in that era. And the newsroom was one of the few places where women could be strong, sexy and articulate. And wow is this dripping with sex.

In those days, women could be nurses, teachers, secretaries or whores. Or if they were particularly clever, they were reporters. It was a sort of shorthand, lost today. If your movie put you in a newsroom, it was a stage where stories were made. And to have a woman weave stories and in some way control the world. That was something.

The story here is Cagney's typical gangster, head of a gang but imprisoned. He gets out and instead of returning to his gang, takes a job as a reporter. Actually — to make the folding good — as a photographer, hence the title. You can pretty much guess the story, knowing that he is both ruthless in invading lives and sweet on the daughter of the cop who "sent him up."

Here's the really interesting part: the sexy, precode blond is a reporter in the same pool. She's the girl of Cagney's boss but hot for Cagney. He's being chased by another broad too. To both he's mean, but the encounters with them are directly sexual.

Its odd. We see her as distinctly available, a silly blond. But we also know she is a crackerjack mind underneath. One scene: Cagney by subterfuge has obtained a picture of the execution of a murderess. He is chased all over town but makes it to the newsroom just under deadline. Breathlessly, he dictates the story to our sexy blond to type. He speaks in blunt gangster slang and we laugh at the notion that such a description would appear in the paper.

She types furiously, then the editor reads it aloud and it is three times as long, cleverly and articulately written. Big joke. No one notices. Bigger joke.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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