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Bordertown (1935)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  23 January 1935 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 997 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 7 critic

Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making ... See full summary »


(as Archie L. Mayo)


(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Dale Elwell
Charlie Roark
Robert Barrat ...
Soledad Jiménez ...
Mrs. Ramirez (as Soledad Jimenez)
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Gavin Gordon ...
Brook Manville
William B. Davidson ...
Dr. Carter (as William Davidson)
Arthur Stone ...
Manuel Diego
Vivian Tobin ...
Mrs. Garner


Johnny Ramirez rises from bouncer to partner in Charlie Roark's border town casino. Charlie's wife Marie loves Johnny, but Johnny loves society woman Dale. Marie kills her husband, making it look like suicide. She tells Johnny she committed murder for him and, still rejected, tells the police that she and Johnny murdered Charlie. She goes crazy in court and Johnny goes free. Dale runs from Johnny and dies in an auto crash. Johnny sells the casino. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

23 January 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Barreira  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The footage of the opening street scene of the border town was later re-used as the opening scene of the Mexican town in Code of the Secret Service (1939). A short section of the same scene was also used during the opening Mexicali sequence in The Hitch-Hiker (1953). See more »


When Johnny shows Marie to her car, the shadow of the camera is visible on the car door. See more »


Version of They Drive by Night (1940) See more »


Sweet Georgia Brown
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Played when Roark is telling the story and as Johnny patrols the Silver Slipper
See more »

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User Reviews

Mexican Jumping Beans
6 August 2011 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

In Los Angeles, poor Mexican-American mechanic Paul Muni (as Johnny Ramirez) studies hard to become a lawyer. After losing his first case, an ill-tempered Mr. Muni punches out the opposing attorney. Disbarred, and carrying a chip on his shoulder, Muni goes to work as strong-arm manager for gravelly-voiced Eugene Palette (as Charlie Roark) in a Mexican "Bordertown". Business booms and Muni is made a partner. However, Muni must fend off bosomy blonde bombshell Bette Davis (as Marie), Mr. Palette' s trophy wife. Muni prefers pretty socialite Margaret Lindsay (as Dale Elwell)...

Eventually, Muni finds himself on the wrong side of the law...

The main problem with "Bordertown" is that the message is to stay in your own "place," and with your own "class" of people. You will see the characters who venture outside their own "kind" are punished. Also, Muni and Ms. Davis were both capable of scratching the edges of their acting range, which sometimes resulted in great performances - but sometimes not. Early in the running, Muni's hot-tempered Spanish youth is too much of a stretch. He gets better as Davis slowly begins to chew the scenery. Both would end the year with better roles, and "Academy Award" winning performances.

***** Bordertown (1/23/35) Archie Mayo ~ Paul Muni, Bette Davis, Margaret Lindsay, Eugene Palette

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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