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Bad Guy (1937)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  27 August 1937 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 43 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 4 critic

"Lucky" Walden is a power lineman-turned-criminal. He is due to go to the electric chair, which he helps prison electricians wire correctly, when his sentence is commuted for an act of ... See full summary »


(as Edward Cahn)


(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Virginia Grey ...
Edward Norris ...
Jean Chatburn ...
Dan Gray
Warren Hymer ...
John Hamilton ...
Clay Clement ...


"Lucky" Walden is a power lineman-turned-criminal. He is due to go to the electric chair, which he helps prison electricians wire correctly, when his sentence is commuted for an act of heroism. But he finds the wrong side of the law more attractive, and returns to his nefarious ways. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prison | wrench | witness | warden | trial | See All (34) »


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Lightning  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Cast lists records list Norman Willis (Edwards), but he was replaced by Russell Hopton. In addition, the following actors are also listed in records but did not appear in the film: Philip Sleeman (Convict), Harry Tyler (Convict), Monte Vandergrift (Candy Salesman), 'E. Allyn Warren' (Night Watchman), Jules Cowles (Bartender), Richard Cramer (Dr. Wilson), Barbara Bedford (Mrs. LeClair) and Baldwin Cooke (Spectator). See more »

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User Reviews

Good Bad Guy
26 August 2002 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

The movies loved rogues in the old days. Whores with hearts of gold (though they couldn't call them that,--whores I mean), con men who were kind to widows and orphans, gangsters who were really robin hoods in fedoras and pin-striped suits. This was especially true in the economic hard times of the Depression. One saw fewer of such films after the war. Nowadays things are quite different, and the formula would seem ridiculously old-fashioned and corny. Maybe the rise of mass education had something to do with it. As people have become more middle class they are increasingly concerned about "respectability". In the days when most people worked with their hands or lived off the land the good bad guy thing was acceptable. But enough sociological musing. In this film the good bad guy is Bruce Cabot, who could play really bad guys quite well also, which gives his character added ambiguity. The setting is New York, the work is power lineman. Cabot is credible in both his good and bad aspects, which makes his nice guy attributes more effective than had his role been played by, say, Don Ameche. Director Eddie Cahn, a master of the short subject, directs this one for speed and beauty. It has plenty of both. The backlot cityscapes are something to see.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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