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Bullets or Ballots (1936)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  6 June 1936 (USA)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,798 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 12 critic

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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(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)
Dick Purcell ...
Ed Driscoll (as Richard Purcell)
...
Wires Kagel
Joseph Crehan ...
Grand Jury Spokesman
Henry O'Neill ...
Ward Bryant
Henry Kolker ...
Mr. Hollister
Gilbert Emery ...
Mr. Thorndyke
Herbert Rawlinson ...
Mr. Caldwell
Louise Beavers ...
Nellie LaFleur
Norman Willis ...
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:

"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:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Johnny Blake, played by Edward G. Robinson, was based on real-life policeman Johnny Broderick, while Al Kruger, played by Barton MacLane, was based on notorious gangster Dutch Schultz. 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: You like me pretty well. Well, that goes both ways.
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

 
Very decent crime drama
13 April 2009 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

Let's face it, you really can't go wrong when you have guys like Cagney, Bogart and Robinson doing their thing. In "Bullets or Ballots," Edward G. and Bogie are on opposite sides and pretty much hate each other throughout the whole picture.

Edward G. plays an undercover cop looking to break up the crime syndicate, of which an old buddy he once busted is the top guy. Here's where a little bit of conflict comes in. Even though we are supposed to cheer for the cops over the gangsters, it's hard to get around that the head gangster seems to actually care about Robinson's character, and trusts him a lot, enough to keep on him about joining the gang despite that he's an ex-cop, until Robinson finally does. I can't help but feel a bit of dislike toward Robinson's character for accepting his friend's proposal, while actually looking to cut him down and send him to prison.

Bogie is great, and can see right through Edward G. but can't do anything about it. It all comes down to a wild climax.

Bullets or Ballots is definitely a good old time Warner Brothers flick, even though when these guys play the heavies it's always a lot better.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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