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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 1,799 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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Edit

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:

WHO Rules The Rackets ? This picture puts the finger on the political higher-ups! 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

"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

When Johnny Blake and the cop on horseback get into a fight, after the fight is broken up, the cop isn't wearing his badge. See more »

Quotes

Lee Morgan: If Mike catches you back there, he'll crown you.
Herman: Yeah, but he isn't here.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart (1988) 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

Robinson and Bogart
12 January 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Bullets or Ballots (1936)

*** (out of 4)

A hard boiled detective (Edward G. Robinson) gets kicked off the force so a gangster (Barton MacLane) hires him onto the underground. Robinson pretends to be telling them how to stay clear of getting busted but a second hand man (Humphrey Bogart) rightly suspects the detective of just being undercover. Here we have yet another gangster film from Warner and yet another winner as the film contains some very good performances, nice action and some true drama. The actual story of a cop going undercover is certainly nothing new and the film really doesn't hit on anything new but that really doesn't take away from any of the entertainment. The story this time out is also rather low key and we don't get any major action scenes but that's okay because the dialogue is strong enough as are the performances to give us the drama we need. Robinson turns in another fine performance as it's always nice seeing him play the hero. MacLane does a very good job in his role as the top guy and of course it's always fun seeing Bogart playing the second fiddle. Joan Blondell does a fine job as well even though her character, a numbers runner and friend to Robinson, is underwritten. Then for comic relief we get Frank McHugh but he too doesn't have that well of a written character. In terms of the Warner gangster films this certainly can't compare to Little Caesar, Angels with Dirty Faces or White Heat but on its own it's a nice little drama that has enough appeal to overcome its weaknesses.


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