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Young Donovan's Kid (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 6 June 1931 (USA)
A crusader tries to keep a dope dealer from corrupting children.


Fred Niblo


Rex Beach (based on novel "Big Brother" by), J. Walter Ruben (screenplay)


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Cast overview:
Richard Dix ... Jim Donovan
Marion Shilling ... Kitty Costello
Jackie Cooper ... Midge Murray
Frank Sheridan ... Father Dan
Boris Karloff ... Cokey Joe
Dick Rush Dick Rush ... Burke
Fred Kelsey ... Collins
Richard Alexander ... Ben Murray
Harry Tenbrook ... Spike Doyle
Wilfred Lucas ... Duryea
Philip Sleeman Philip Sleeman ... Mike Novarro (as Phil Sleeman)
Robert Wilber Robert Wilber ... Monk Manilla
Charles Sullivan Charles Sullivan ... Gyp
Jack Perry ... Lefty
Frank Beal Frank Beal ... McConnell


A crusader tries to keep a dope dealer from corrupting children.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama








Release Date:

6 June 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Brother See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In print ads, obviously created by RKO Radio for exhibitor exploitation, the title is given as "Donovan's Kid", not "YOUNG Donovan's Kid". (Print Ad-Daily Argus, ((Mount Vernon, NY)) 4 June 1931) See more »


Version of Big Brother (1923) See more »

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User Reviews

A lost film?
29 July 2010 | by kevinolzakSee all my reviews

I have been told by a reliable source that there are no available prints still extant of "Young Donovan's Kid" (1931), one of 18 releases that year featuring Boris Karloff. Richard Dix is the star, but Karloff no doubt steals it as Cokey Joe, a dope dealer who tries to corrupt young Jackie Cooper, a few months before "The Champ," his best-known film as a child. Dix, who starred in that year's Oscar winner for Best Picture, "Cimarron," would soon work with Karloff again in "The Public Defender," in which they worked in unison fighting corruption. Karloff worked with John Barrymore in "The Mad Genius," with Lionel Barrymore and Laurence Olivier in "The Yellow Ticket," with Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney in "Smart Money," with H. B. Warner and Robinson again in "Five Star Final," with Leo Carrillo, Robert Young, and Glenn Strange in "The Guilty Generation," with Paul Muni and George Raft in "Scarface," and with Regis Toomey in "Graft," the feature that brought him to the attention of Universal's ace James Whale. And all of these roles preceded his star-making efforts in "Frankenstein." By the end of the year, he had also completed "Tonight or Never," opposite Gloria Swanson and Melvyn Douglas (making his feature debut), and "Behind the Mask," opposite Jack Holt and Edward Van Sloan. Once he became a star, awaiting vehicles created just for his talents, Boris Karloff probably never had a happier year; he certainly didn't work again with such a diverse array of talented actors, many of whom remained lifelong friends, especially James Cagney, as both were co-founders of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.

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