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The Finger Points (1931)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama | 11 April 1931 (USA)
Rookie reporter receives bribes from gangsters to suspend negative press.


John Monk Saunders (by), W.R. Burnett (by) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Richard Barthelmess ... Breckenridge 'Breck' Lee
Fay Wray ... Marcia Collins
Regis Toomey ... Charlie 'Breezy' Russell
Robert Elliott ... Frank Carter
Clark Gable ... Louis J. Blanco
Oscar Apfel ... Ellis Wheeler
Robert Gleckler ... Larry Hayes--Sphinx Club Manager
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Noel Madison ... Larry Hayes (scenes deleted)


Lee is a fresh young kid from the South when he gets a job with The Press. His first assignment on gangsters gets his name in the paper, the police on a raid and Lee in the hospital. He quickly finds that it is everyone for himself, so he goes into the business of not reporting for a fee. He quickly learns to shake down the gangsters, and with the paper behind him, they leave Lee alone. But the girl he is crazy for will only trade a ring for his going straight. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"Breck, dear, are you sure THEY WON'T KILL A REPORTER?" "Marcia, they don't dare, they never will!" (Print Ad-New York Sun, ((New York NY)) 30 March 1931) See more »


Crime | Drama


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The film is loosely based on Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle, who was shot and killed the day before he was to meet with federal agents in connection with Al Capone's finances. There was public outrage at first over the killing of a reporter, but over the next few weeks it was discovered that Lingle was living way beyond his reporter's salary, and finally that he was on Capone's payroll. See more »


The film doesn't explain why the Sphinx Club would proceed with the club opening and engage in an illegal activity despite the expose written by Breckenridge for The Press newspaper. This led to a police raid. It would be illogical for mobsters to behave this way especially with such a major investment at stake unless they had reassurance from corrupt officials. See more »


City Editor Frank Carter: Did the chief talk salary with you?
Breckenridge 'Breck' Lee: Well, no, sir.
City Editor Frank Carter: Well, then you'll get 39 a week to start, 4 dollars of that's for car fare.
See more »


Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »


Funeral March (Marche Funèbre)
from "Sonata in Bb-, Op.35 No.2"
Music by Frédéric Chopin
Played after Lee's death
See more »

User Reviews

27 February 2008 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Finger Points, The (1931)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Static but entertaining gangster picture has a wet-nosed reporter (Richard Barthelmess) from the South going to the big city to become a star but he soon learns that nothing is easy. After busting a gambling operation and getting nothing out of it, the reporter decides to partner up with a racketeer (Clark Gable) but soon the reporter gets too big for his current situation. This film is based on the life of Chicago Tribute reporter Jake Lingle who got involved with Al Capone and the rest is history. This film version is pretty good, although it's a bit slugish at time but this is due mostly to just how movies were during this early sound era. Barthelmess is hit and miss in his role. He's somewhat shaky during the nervous reporter segments but he settles down once he starts to enter the big shot period. Gable steals the show with his supporting performance and Fay Wray plays the love interest.

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Release Date:

11 April 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daktylika apotypomata See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

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