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Confidential (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 16 October 1935 (USA)
A Federal agent seeks to avenge the murder of his friend by going undercover in a numbers racket. But one of the gang thinks the new man seems familiar...



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maxine Travers
Mr. Walsh (as Theodore Von Eltz)
'Midget' Regan
'Lefty' Tate (as J Carrol Nash/J. Carrol Naish in opening credits)
J.W. Keaton
J.W. 'Jack' Keaton, Jr.
Insp. Stone
James P. Burtis ...
Lacey (as James Burtis)
Clay Clement ...
Insp. Arthur M. Preston
FBI Agent Bob Arnold
H. Van Cleve
Monte Carter ...
Giuseppe Tomasso Giaconelli
Hanover - Walsh's Henchman (as Alan Bridge)
Earl Eby ...
FBI Agent Nash


A Federal agent seeks to avenge the murder of his friend by going undercover in a numbers racket. But one of the gang thinks the new man seems familiar... Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 October 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Batalha Contra o Crime  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The earliest documented telecasts of this film occurred in New York City Saturday 4 May 1946 on DuMont Television Network's WABD (Channel 5), in Washington DC Tuesday 20 January 1948 on WMAL (Channel 7), in Cincinnati Sunday 4 April 1948 on WLWT (Channel 4). and in Detroit Sunday 23 May 1948 on WWJ (Channel 4). See more »

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User Reviews

Fast-Moving Little "B" with Excellent Performances
14 October 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Donald Cook was a fairly important Broadway actor for a long time, but I could never see him as a lead in films, and he didn't play all that many of them. This is one of those few, however, and indeed he is very good in it; he SOUNDS like a lead, even if he doesn't look like one. And he delivers some very smart repartee in his gangster guise with great vocal dexterity and control - maybe a benefit of his stage acting technique. Anyway, although he is most remembered as James Cagney's honest brother in PUBLIC ENEMY, where his somewhat hangdog expression is appropriate, this would be a far better performance to remember him by. But Evalyn Knapp, an actress for whom I had similarly dim expectations based on perhaps two dozen other films I've seen her in, is really quite perfect in an unusual-for-her role as a fast-talking, quick-witted, somewhat in-the-dark secretary for a numbers racket, and her repartee with Cook, Warren Hymer, Theodore Von Eltz and J. Carrol Naish may be the best thing in the film; every scene she's in perks up simply because of her. Part of this is certainly due to the crack comedic dialog, which has no counterpart in the more dramatic scenes of the film, but even crack comedic dialog is useless if it isn't well-delivered, and Knapp and Cook are almost brilliant in that respect. Hymer is an excellent dimwit (he always was), and Naish, perhaps our greatest non-star character actor of the period (and certainly the most versatile of the entire Hollywood-based talking picture era) is ideal as killer Lefty Tate. As good as are the others, Naish on the screen simply displays an acting dimension quite beyond the others' reach, even as a fairly standard character in this kind of little 'B' crime film. The film is very fast-moving, which may be a detriment in the end, because after bouncing around several facets of the story line, we are suddenly thrust into about a five- or six-minute ending that almost shocks in its ability to tie up so many disparate threads without much regard for continuity. It's like watching CITIZEN KANE with its second hour telescoped into a six-minute conclusion. Despite this, though, it is a very enjoyable film (mostly for the performances) and a most satisfactory way to experience 67 minutes of good "B" film-making.

Oh yes, absolutely the worst gaffe I have ever seen in film credits comes at the beginning of CONFIDENTIAL. I've seen actors' names misspelled, or listed with the wrong character being played, but this is one of those films that uses the excellent practice of showing each of the star actors with a four- or five-second snippet from the ensuing film and with their names printed at the bottom of the screen for identification purposes. Well, in this one, we see the first-billed Donald Cook on the screen and in big letters at the bottom of the screen we see "Donald Woods"!!! I have to assume that Donald Cook never saw the completed film or he surely would have raised holy hell to get that corrected.

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