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The Big Shot (1942)

 |  Drama, Crime  |  13 June 1942 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 481 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

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:
...
Irene Manning ...
Lorna Fleming
Richard Travis ...
George Anderson
Susan Peters ...
Ruth Carter
Stanley Ridges ...
Martin T. Fleming, Attorney
Minor Watson ...
Warden George Booth
Chick Chandler ...
Frank 'Dancer' Smith
Joe Downing ...
Frenchy (as Joseph Downing)
Howard Da Silva ...
Sandor
Murray Alper ...
Quinto, a Convict
Roland Drew ...
Faye
John Ridgely ...
Tim
Joe King ...
Prosecutor Toohey (as Joseph King)
John Hamilton ...
Judge
Virginia Brissac ...
Mrs. Booth
Edit

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 BIG SHOT RETURNS! Up From The Gutter To Make Gangland Shudder! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Crime

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 June 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Gangster  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Joseph 'Duke' Berne: When a thing stinks, it stinks.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Humphrey Bogart (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Night and Day
(uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played on the piano in the Fleming apartment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bogart can't rid himself of a life of crime...
25 April 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

HUMPHREY BOGART once admitted that he had to spend years at Warner Bros. dodging bullets and writhing around on the floor as a bullet-ridden gangster type, before being taken seriously in other roles.

THE BIG SHOT is a prime example. It came at a stage in his career where he was on the verge of becoming one of the biggest stars ever, with CASABALANA giving him the iconic role of Rick and taking him away from gangster roles for awhile. But until then, he was still a full-fledged gangster star.

Basically, it's a grade-B yarn with IRENE MANNING (who starred in "The Desert Song" opposite Dennis Morgan a year later), as his romantic interest in a cast that includes SUSAN PETERS, STANLEY RIDGES, MINOR WATSON and HOWARD DA SILVA.

Bogart is an ex-inmate, a three-time loser trying to go straight and we see his story in flashback as he lies on a hospital bed. Lured back into a life of crime when he can't find a job, he joins Da Silva's gang and has to deal with romantic complications involving ex-girlfriend Manning, married to crime boss Stanley Ridges. He gets accused of being one of the armored car bandits and has to figure a way to get himself clear of a frame-up. Ridges frames him while posing as his lawyer and Bogart gets sent to prison for a life term.

The prison break scene is the highlight of the drama and rescues the film from a slow pace that only steams up toward the conclusion. Bogart has a moral problem. A good guy (RICHARD TRAVIS) who tried to prevent Bogie and friend from making a jail break, gets accused of being mixed up in the escape. When a prison guard dies during the attempt, Travis has to take the blame.

The plot takes a turn when Bogart decides he can't let Travis, an innocent man, take the rap.

Summing up: Worthwhile for Bogie fans, but we've all seen this kind of crime drama before.


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