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The Big Shot (1942)

Three time loser Duke Berne risks life in prison with one more armored car robbery. His attorney's wife Lorna, Berne's old sweetheart, keeps him from it but he goes to jail anyway. Duke and... See full summary »

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(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lorna Fleming
...
George Anderson
...
...
Martin T. Fleming, Attorney
...
Warden George Booth
...
Frank 'Dancer' Smith
Joe Downing ...
Frenchy (as Joseph Downing)
...
Sandor
...
Quinto, a Convict
...
Faye
John Ridgely ...
Tim
Joe King ...
Prosecutor Toohey (as Joseph King)
...
Judge
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Booth
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Storyline

Three time loser Duke Berne risks life in prison with one more armored car robbery. His attorney's wife Lorna, Berne's old sweetheart, keeps him from it but he goes to jail anyway. Duke and Lorna get some time together again after he stages a prison break, but if he stays with her his old friend George will have to take the rap for killing one of the guards. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE SAGA OF THE RISE AND FALL OF A GANG LORD AND HIS LADY! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 June 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Gangster  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Joseph 'Duke' Berne: When a thing stinks, it stinks.
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Connections

Referenced in I rymden finns inga känslor (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Played during Dancer's stage act
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User Reviews

 
Bogie's last gasp as a gangster as his image turns a corner
24 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Big Shot" is a 1942 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Irene Manning. Bogie is a career criminal, Joseph Berne, who is sent to prison for life for something he didn't do - set up by his own attorney (Stanley Ridges), who finds out that Joe is involved with his wife (Manning). Berne's fake alibi is provided by a young salesman, George Anderson, who needed money and instead gets a year for perjury. It's George's predicament later on that gives Joe a crisis of conscience.

After years of toil at Warner Brothers, Bogart is now a star, and his image as a gangster is softening and would morph with Casablanca into an anti-hero. He does a good job in this film - his story is told in flashback from the prison hospital. The script is problematic. One glaring offense is that the police locate a criminal in a cabin. When they get there, they don't surround it, and their prey, not even aware the police are there, go out the back and drive away. Most viewers are aware that the cops surround an edifice. Not here. The movie is not particularly well directed by Lewis Seiler. There is, however, an exciting car chase.

Of interest here is George's girlfriend, the beautiful and doomed Susan Peters, who less than three years later would be paralyzed in a hunting accident. She was signed by MGM after this film. 1942 was a banner year for her, as she was nominated for a supporting Best Actress Oscar for "Random Harvest." She died in 1952. One of Hollywood's saddest stories.


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