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The People's Enemy (1935)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 29 April 1935 (USA)
Money was what gangster Vince M. Falcone wanted most and he did lay hands on millions of dollars by fair means or (mostly) foul. But once he became rich what he craved for was ... See full summary »



(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview:
Catherine Carr
George R. 'Traps' Stuart
Ann Griffin
Slip Laflin
Tony Falcone
Sybil Elaine ...
Mary Carr - Vince's Daughter
Philip Francis Duke Ware
Judge Hays


Money was what gangster Vince M. Falcone wanted most and he did lay hands on millions of dollars by fair means or (mostly) foul. But once he became rich what he craved for was respectability. So why not marry a lovely society lady? And with a young daughter as a bonus Mister Falcone could show off among the creme de la creme. Of course when times got rough he felt free to desert his wife and little girl. Fortunately Taps, a lawyer working for the underworld, will console them both. Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The sensational first-hand story of a super crook who was "too big" for the law - until the federal men stepped in! (original poster) See more »


Action | Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 April 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Racketeers  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


When this film was re-titled 'Racketeers' and re-released theatrically by Guaranteed Pictures Corporation in 1947, it was most frequently shown in tandem with 'Call It Murder.' the re-titled re-release of _Midnight (1934)_. See more »

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User Reviews

The defense attorney becomes the target...of his own client!
16 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It doesn't matter that defense attorney Melvyn Douglas has gotten racketeer Preston Foster off almost three dozen times for various crimes, but when he is sentenced to nine years in prison for tax evasion (a la Al Capone), Foster wants revenge when he finds out that Douglas has been romancing his estranged wife (Lila Lee) with whom he has a child. It doesn't matter that Lee left him long before he was sent to prison; Foster wants revenge, and after successfully escaping, makes his way back to New York to confront the man who committed a lot of amoral acts to have earlier kept him out of prison.

This fast moving crime drama is unique not only in the fact that it paralleled recent history but showed an actual criminal trial where there was no jury, only a judge (Charles Coburn in his feature film debut) presided. Once he gets to prison, Foster is bombarded by unwanted pressures from stuttering prisoner Roscoe Ates telling him of his own issues with his defense attorney. This of course, leads to his desperate move to escape and of course a very dramatic confrontation at the end.

While some may consider this nothing more than an extended variation of MGM's "Crime Doesn't Pay" series, this is brisk and powerfully gripping. There's never any doubt how this will end, but performances are excellent and the script doesn't milk the audience by adding unnecessary plot developments. Overall, a nice little find and one worth watching again.

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