7.2/10
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Bordertown (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 23 January 1935 (USA)
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 »

Director:

(as Archie L. Mayo)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Dale Elwell
...
Charlie Roark
...
Padre
...
Mrs. Ramirez (as Soledad Jimenez)
...
Harry
...
Brook Manville
...
Dr. Carter (as William Davidson)
...
Manuel Diego
Vivian Tobin ...
Mrs. Garner
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 January 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Barreira  »

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

At first Paul Muni wanted Carole Lombard or Lupe Velez as female co-star, but after her success in Of Human Bondage he chose Bette Davis. See more »

Goofs

When Dale and Brook leave the Olvera Street cafe, the camera follows them down the street. Several objects and people pass between them and the camera, and the shadow of the camera falls across several of these. At one point, the shadow of a technician wearing a cap (presumably the camera operator) is plainly visible against a flat surface. See more »

Quotes

Marie Roark: The only fun I get is feeding the goldfish, and they only eat once a day.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scandal: On the Other Side (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Quiéreme mucho
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Gonzalo Roig
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User Reviews

 
Politically incorrect, but Bette's star is on the rise
4 October 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Bordertown" is the story of a Mexican attorney, Johnny Ramirez, and his fight to make something of himself and realize the American dream. Who better to portray him than the Jewish Paul Muni. After physically attacking another attorney during a disastrous court appearance, Johnny becomes a bouncer in a nightclub. However, his brains, ability, and negotiation expertise come to the attention of his boss, Roark (Eugene Palette), who agrees to bring him in as a partner. Johnny has also come to the attention of Marie Roark (Bette Davis), the restless wife of the boss, and she throws herself at him. Johnny, however, has fallen for Dale (Margaret Lindsay), a socialite. Marie kills her husband, and when he rejects her again, she tells the police that Johnny killed Roark.

Paul Muni was an excellent actor whose style of acting is perhaps dated by today's standards. He could disappear into his roles, often to great effect, but unfortunately, he doesn't disappear enough into Johnny Ramirez. His portrayal is over the top and his accent is bad. The standout is Bette Davis, young and pretty, as the unstable wife. Just off her great success in "Of Human Bondage," which was a loanout by Warners, she demonstrates here how well she takes charge of the screen.

Most of the characters are pretty stereotypical. "Bordertown" is badly dated but worth seeing for its early Bette Davis performance.


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