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The Big Shakedown (1934)

 -  Crime | Drama  -  6 January 1934 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 480 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 5 critic

Racketeers flood the market with counterfeit cosmetics and drugs, causing some tragedies.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Big Shakedown (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Glenda Farrell ...
...
Henry O'Neill ...
Dewey Robinson ...
...
Higgins
Philip Faversham ...
John, the New Salesman
Robert Emmett O'Connor ...
Regan, the Bartender
Renee Whitney ...
Mae LaRue
...
Gyp (as George Pat Collins)
Adrian Morris ...
Trigger
Ben Hendricks Jr. ...
Spike (as Ben Hendricks)
George Cooper ...
Shorty
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Storyline

Former bootlegger Nick Barnes pressures neighborhood druggist Jimmy Morrell into making cut-rate drugs. The money makes it possible for Jimmy to marry Norma Frank, a pharmacy clerk. Expecting a baby, she wants Jimmy to quit the racket. Beaten by the mob, Jimmy works on, diluting the medications still further. Norma is rushed to the hospital for a premature delivery and given bogus medication. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 January 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drogas Infernais  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Dutch Barnes: Lefty, what's our racket?
Lefty: Beer!
Dutch Barnes: Beer, huh, you're five minutes late. We're going into the drug business.
Lefty: Not me. I got a brother doing twenty years for going into the drug business and all they found on him was two decks of coke.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Is Your Life: Bette Davis (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

My Own
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Little, Ira Schuster and Dave Oppenheim
Played at the Barnes party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The counterfeit game...
19 October 2014 | by (Baltimore MD) – See all my reviews

Back in the days when stardom meant signing a seven-year contract, Bette Davis didn't have much choice but to play the wife of a struggling pharmacist, who gets mixed up with the mob, in this mellerdrama. Hubby Charles Farrell is conscripted by gangster Ricardo Cortez to make counterfeit products like tooth paste and face powder. But when Cortez demands cheap knock-offs of high-priced medication, lives are in danger...Bette's included. She plays the ingénue role surprisingly well without the tics and mannerisms which would mark (and sometimes mar) her later career. Tall, handsome Charles Farrell, on the other hand, couldn't act. To say that he had two expressions is putting it generously. Fortunately, Cortez as the suave hood behind the counterfeiting scheme takes up the slack and Glenda Farrell drops seductively by as a gun moll who knows too much. A pretty entertaining B movie made moreso by the youthful Bette Davis.


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