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The Vice Squad (1931)

A diplomat is blackmailed by crooked vice cops into helping them frame prostitutes.


John Cromwell




Complete credited cast:
Paul Lukas ... Stephen Lucarno
Kay Francis ... Alice Morrison
Judith Wood ... Madeleine Hunt
William B. Davidson ... Magistrate Tom Morrison
Rockliffe Fellowes ... Detective-Sergeant Mather (as Rockcliffe Fellowes)
Esther Howard ... Josie
Monte Carter Monte Carter ... Max Miller - Public Defender
Juliette Compton ... Ambassador's Wife
G. Pat Collins ... Pete - Detective
Phil Tead ... Tony - Waiter
Davison Clark Davison Clark ... Doctor
Tom Wilson ... Night Court Attendant
James Durkin ... Second Magistrate
William Arnold William Arnold ... Prosecutor


A diplomat is blackmailed by crooked vice cops into helping them frame prostitutes.

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diplomat | See All (1) »


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Crime | Drama


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Did You Know?


[Foreword] This story attempts to show how Vice Squads, designed to make our communities more moral, have in many American cities done the very opposite. The methods of the old-fashioned Vice Squad must go! The great majority of policemen resent its ruthless treatment of women and girls, trapped by paid "stool pigeons" in situations which appear to justify their arrest. See more »


At the Ambassador's Ball, the orchestra is playing 'Falling in Love Again' from The Blue Angel. This scene is set in 1929 or earlier, as there is a title which moves the action two years on after this, and The Vice Squad was released in 1931. 'Falling in Love Again' did not become well-known as a hit song until 1930. See more »


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

User Reviews

The police are really awful in this film!
3 February 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Vice Squad" is a most unusual movie...one that Hollywood probably could not have gotten away with making just a few years later with the new toughened Production Code. This is because the villain in this film is a cop--a dirty, manipulative one...something you were simply not supposed to have in films after the industry was morally sanitized in mid-1934.

When the story begins, Stephen Lucarno (Paul Lukas) is on a lonely country road at night talking to a woman. They aren't doing anything illegal...just talking. Soon, a cop approaches them and begins threatening them...and the woman runs over this policeman and kills him!! Stephen is left at the scene and a vice cop arrives and announces that Stephen will be his informer and help him on prostitution cases OR he'll be sent to prison for murder...a murder he did not commit. Well, Stephen is naive and soon becomes the cop's number one stoolie. Now this is odd, as Stephen works at the embassy. They don't say he's the ambassador but he most likely DID have diplomatic immunity and should have stood firm against the threat...but he didn't. What's next? See the picture.

Normally I wonder why Lukas was in so many American films in leading roles. After all, his Hungarian accent is thick...kinda Dracula-like. But here, the accent and fine manners work well with the character. He is fine in this role. As for the movie, it's also pretty good...despite the plot being a bit difficult to believe. Worth seeing.

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Release Date:

30 May 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kvinnof√§llan See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
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