Hard-hitting news editor Jim Branch falls for high-society type Sharon Norwood but can't get to first base as he continually makes use of her knowledge of the rich and famous to try to ... See full summary »
Robert Z. Leonard
Bootlegger/cafe owner Ralph Bellamy recruits crude working man Wallace Beery to join his gang which is masterminded by crooked criminal defense lawyer Lewis Stone. Beery eventually takes over Bellamy's operation, beats a rival gang, becomes wealthy and dominates the city for several years until a secret group of 6 masked businessmen have him prosecuted and sent to the electric chair with the help of rival crusading newspapermen Clark Gable and Johnny Mack Brown. Waitress Jean Harlow is torn between her love for the honest newsman Brown and her financial dependence on her generous boss, Beery.Written by
After previewing Warner Bros. upcoming releases of "Public Enemy" and "Little Caeser," MGM production chief Irving Thalberg commissioned writer Francis Marion to come up with MGM's first real "talking" gangster picture. See more »
Although supposedly set in Chicago, after the shoot-out in the bar, as the gangs drive off on the rear-projection in the background can be seen the large vertical sign for the Metropolitan Theater in Los Angeles (at the corner of 6th and Hill Streets). That footage was also shot in 1929 or before as during that year Paramount bought the theater and renamed it "The Paramount). The distinctive 5-globe Llewellyn Iron Works streetlights are also a giveaway those shots were done in L.A. See more »
Don't let that dame get away from you and get right back here. We might have to use the rods to get out of this joint. Scram.
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Despite the title, the Secret Six (a group of masked crime-fighting citizens) don't have much to do in this gangster thriller. On the other hand, it's a chance to see a young Clark Gable just a few years before MGM promoted him to super-stardom. As a probing newspaperman, he's billed way down in the cast list but gets more than ample time to show off his acting chops. Another surprise is Ralph Bellamy before he was sentenced to a life of losing the girl in countless comedies as an urbane mobster -- and he's surprisingly menacing. The star of the movie is Wallace Beery as a slaughterhouse worker turned mob boss and he does his usual job, growling, grimacing and chewing the scenery. Well worth watching in a genre that MGM usually left to Warner Bros.
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