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Picture Snatcher (1933)

Not Rated | | Drama, Crime | 6 May 1933 (USA)
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 »

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Writers:

(based on a story by) (as Danny Ahern), (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
McLean
...
Patricia
...
Allison
...
Jerry
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Lt. Nolan
...
Grover
...
Hennessy (as George Pat Collins)
Arthur Vinton ...
John
Tom Wilson ...
Leo
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Storyline

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 <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 May 1933 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Mann mit der Kamera  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First cinema film of Vaughn Taylor. See more »

Goofs

Cagney's suit goes from dirty to clean to dirty again during the car chase from Sing Sing and the subsequent subway ride. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References 42nd Street (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A terrific crazy romp, never stopping, Cagney charming and sharp
18 January 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Picture Snatcher (1933)

A fast, pre-code romp, really fun. Cagney movies are so blazing in general, from his fast talking style and his frenetic body movements, this is terrific. It's not a gangster flick, though there are traces of that (he comes out of jail in the first scene), but it has the trappings of the end of Prohibition and all the fun of the cars and the times.

There are a number of interesting characters in addition to Cagney, sassy and chipper and really bright. The plot is crazy, really, with all kinds of rivalries among the thugs, the cops, the newsmen, and the women. There are some terrific newspaper scenes (like the lead typesetting machines, used for love notes by Cagney and his girl), but the title refers to Cagney's turn at being photojournalist. They don't show him in action much, but there is a key scene where he photographs a woman being killed in the electric chair. And he does it the same way the same kind of picture was taken in 1928 of Ruth Snyder at Sing Sing, the camera hidden on the photographer's calf, and the pant leg lifted at the time of the electrocution. The camera appears to be an American made Ansco, a slightly cruder version of the new small Leica style miniature camera hitting the market in the late 1920s.

But in fact photography plays a small role here. This is a movie about Cagney being his frenetic best, and that's what makes it great. I would say don't miss it. It's sweet, sassy, fun, and surprising.


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