Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Flagg is courted by persistent Michael McLain, despite her protests that she is a married woman. McLain is just charming enough to attract Elizabeth into a ... See full summary »
Mary Turner, is wrongly accused, by her employer Edward Gilder, and then convicted of theft. In prison she studies law books, and on release partners with another woman to legally scam ... See full summary »
Susan is about to be married, but the wedding may get called off after her fiancee summons three former beaus. Each reveals a different portrait of Susan: one describes her as a naive ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
MGM'S 6000 ENEMIES (1939) bears a passing resemblance to Warner Brothers EACH DAWN I DIE (1939) without the star power of James Cagney and George Raft. Stalwart crime fighting citizen is unjustly framed and put behind bars. Proves himself to the "Cons", gets the goods on the guilty and brings them to justice, wins the girl, fade out. Oh, forgives the society that imprisoned him destroyed his career that leads to the death of his brother. Does not even give a thought to filing a lawsuit. Did I mention that this is also a fantasy.
The most interesting thing about this film is seeing the way MGM handles such a subject. Or how differently they handled it nine (9) years earlier. THE BIG HOUSE (1930) is a gritty, realistic and tough depiction of prison life. THE BIG HOUSE is a dirty and very unpleasant place to be in. The inhabitants of this prison are scum with little or no saving graces. They will turn on you with the least provocation and on the flimsiest of motives.
By the time of 6000 ENEMIES things had changed. The 1934 Production Code was being enforced and at MGM Irving Thalberg was gone and with him the driving force of creativity and risk. L. B. Mayer preferred every picture to be as clean and sanitized as Dr. Kildare's instruments. No studio embraced 'The Code' more then MGM. If you were looking to stretch the envelope it better be at another studio and this film is a perfect example of that. Even the dirt looks clean and as for the gangsters you get the feeling all they need is career counseling. Even when they brought in a hi-powered actor like Edward G. Robinson (for other films) who knew how to play gangsters the results were still tepid. So there is little that Walter Pidgeon could do but fulfill his contract in a pedestrian role. Thankfully for him better days were ahead.
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