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Panama Flo (1932)

A New York chorus girl is coerced into keeping house for an oil man in South America to pay off a debt. Her boyfriend comes to get her but she finds out that he is only out for the oil man's money.


Ralph Murphy, Tay Garnett (uncredited)


Garrett Fort (story and adaptation)




Complete credited cast:
Helen Twelvetrees ... Flo
Robert Armstrong ... Babe Dillon
Charles Bickford ... Dan McTeague
Marjorie Peterson Marjorie Peterson ... Pearl
Maude Eburne ... Sadie
Paul Hurst ... Al
Reina Velez Reina Velez ... Chacra
Hans Joby Hans Joby ... River Pilot


A New York chorus girl is coerced into keeping house for an oil man in South America to pay off a debt. Her boyfriend comes to get her but she finds out that he is only out for the oil man's money.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 January 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Second Shot See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Pathé Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


A print of this film survives in the UCLA Film and Television Archives. See more »


McTeague: Come on, baby. Snap out of it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown on a rotating drum, which slowly rotates upwards. See more »


Remade as Panama Lady (1939) See more »


Happy Days Are Here Again
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
Sung a bit by Maude Eburne with piano accompaniment
See more »

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User Reviews

A sleazy film....and an incredible coincidence.
5 November 2016 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

deal for implied sex coincidence is ridiculous sleaze is implied

"Panama Flo" is a film clearly rooted in the Pre-Code Era--a film filled with lots of sleazy subtext and characters who are ALL rotten! When the film was remade seven years later as "Panama Lady", it was scrubbed clean of all its sexual tension...and was, as a result, an incredibly dull film!

When the story begins, Flo (Helen Twelvetrees) is working at a sleazy dive of a bar. She's dead broke and her only chance of getting away from this dump is her boyfriend, Babe (Robert Armstrong)...a guy who's promised to marry her as soon as he returns from his trip to South America. The problem is that after two weeks, Babe still hasn't returned and weeks turn into months.

Into the hellish dive comes Dan (Charles Bickford)--an oil man with a huge wad of cash practically burning a hole in his pocket. The 'lady' who runs the dump convinces Flo to help rob the guy and he's not as dumb as he looks...but he's on to the scam too late...and another woman working in the bar runs off with the money.

Now here's where the sleazy Pre-Code stuff comes into it. He could easily have Flo tossed into prison but instead gets her to agree to be his 'housekeeper' down in the South American jungle. It's very clear that this is a job with plenty of fringe benefits...though Flo does her best to keep the lecherous Dan at bay. Into this sexual tension arrives Babe...and considering how huge South America is, this is ridiculous! Flo thinks Babe is there to rescue her...but he is, at heart, a complete pig. So what happens next? See the film.

Is this a very good film? Nah. The plot is pretty dumb and the whole coincidence angle is just too dumb to be real. The very end, by the way, is even dumber!! But, in a salacious way it IS worth seeing because it is so exciting and scummy!

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