7.1/10
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Bullets or Ballots (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 June 1936 (USA)
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(screen play), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
'Bugs' Fenner
...
Herman
Joe King ...
Capt. Dan McLaren (as Joseph King)
...
Ed Driscoll (as Richard Purcell)
...
Wires Kagel
...
Grand Jury Spokesman
...
Ward Bryant
...
Mr. Hollister
...
Mr. Thorndyke
...
Mr. Caldwell
...
Nellie LaFleur
...
Louie Vinci
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Storyline

After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the mob. "Buggs" Fenner thinks Blake is a police agent. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Little Caesar" gangs up with a "Smart Money" blonde! (Trade paper ad). See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 June 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Balas o votos  »

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

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on April 17, 1939 with Edward G. Robinson reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film while Johnny Blake (Robinson) is sitting at a table with Joan Blondell talking, one of the old "Mugs" he'd sent to sing sing prison walks over to him and smarts off. Without standing, he trips the mug with his leg and punches him to the floor. While leaning over and chastising the unconscious mug you can see that Blake's (Robinson) hair has moved forward on the right side and is messed up. In the next shot when he leans back up to the table to talk to Joan Blondell his hair is perfectly neat and combed. See more »

Quotes

Johnny Blake: I just want to thank you for the kick in the teeth.
See more »


Soundtracks

The Lady in Red
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Whistled by Edward G. Robinson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Edward G. Robinson: A Tough Guy With A Heart
23 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This turned out to be a decent '30s gangster movie, not a lot different from a few others I've seen where Humphrey Bogart plays the bad guy and is the main adversary of the hero. Several films had James Cagney up against him; here it was Edward G Robinson.

Robinson plays policeman "Det. Johnny Blake," who goes underground, so to speak, by posing as a gang member to get the goods on them. (It's based on a real-life character.) Robinson, as usual, is very interesting to watch and is a tough guy BUT with a soft heart. In fact, he even feels bad about betraying the head crook because he has such principles of being a "straight shooter" that he doesn't feel right lying to anybody, even the gang leader "Al Krueger" (Barton MacLane).

Bogart plays "Nick Fenner," Al's number-one guy and is more of the villain than his boss. Joan Blondell gets second billing but that's not right because she's at least fourth in the amount of screen time and lines. There really is no real love interest in this movie; it's strictly a crime story.

When I first saw this movie, a little over a decade ago on VHS, I wasn't that impressed but last week, watching this on DVD, not only was the story better than I remembered but the picture was excellent. The blacks, whites and grays in here are beautiful. This was part of the "Tough Guys" DVD package and they did a wonderful job on the transfer.


17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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