7.1/10
1,989
29 user 14 critic

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
Edit

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:

Speeding to the screen on a wave of headlines! The torrid timed-to-the minute revelations of the new dictatorship of Gangdom. (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

In the film, it is suggested that Joan Blondell's character got the idea of the numbers racket from her assistant, "Nellie". In reality, the numbers racket was pioneered by black gambling racketeers in Harlem. The "Nellie" character was based on Stephanie "Madame Queen" St. Clair (Nellie scoffs at being called "Madam Nellie"). As in the film, the numbers racket was eventually taken over by 'Dutch Schultz' (qav) and 'Lucky Luciano' (the Humphrey Bogart and Barton MacLane characters, respectively). 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: What's the matter? Did you hurt your ears?
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Soundtracks

The Lady in Red
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Whistled by Edward G. Robinson
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User Reviews

 
More Gab Then Guns
18 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The ridiculous title aside, this is an OK gangster film with more gab then guns, although there is an edge to the execution and display.

The script is interesting in a behind the scenes kind of way that lets us in on the money machines and political corruption that is Warners trademark of message movies. The attraction here is the two stars and the modern fascination with these actors and their tough guy personas and they don't disappoint.

This film is more sanitized and sterile then the best of the gangster films (as the newly defined Hays Code forced tricky gymnastic presentations of the seedy and the sultry). But the studio professionals were up to the task and a "new" type of underworld uncovering emerged on the screen. For better or worse.


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

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