5.8/10
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3 user 2 critic

The Mad Game (1933)

Bootlegger Ed Carson is sent to prison. His old gang turns from liquor (now legal) to kidnapping. When they nab the son and daughter-in-law of the judge who sent Carson to prison, he is ... See full summary »

Director:

Irving Cummings

Writers:

William M. Conselman (screenplay), William M. Conselman (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Edward Carson
Claire Trevor ... Jane Lee
Ralph Morgan ... Judge Penfield
Howard Lally Howard Lally ... Thomas Penfield
J. Carrol Naish ... Chopper Allen
John Miljan ... William Bennett
Matt McHugh Matt McHugh ... Butts McGee
Kathleen Burke ... Marilyn Kirk
Mary Mason ... Lila Penfield
Willard Robertson ... Warden
John Davidson ... Doctor
Paul Fix ... Lou
Jerry Devine Jerry Devine ... Mike
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Storyline

Bootlegger Ed Carson is sent to prison. His old gang turns from liquor (now legal) to kidnapping. When they nab the son and daughter-in-law of the judge who sent Carson to prison, he is paroled to help in the capture. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fox film's Thrilling Melodramatic Expose of the Snatch Racket With a Supurb Cast That Makes every Exciting Incident Real! (Print Ad- New York Sun, ((New York NY)) 9 November 1933)

Genres:

Crime | Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 October 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La ley del talión See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Douglas Fowley. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Spencer Tracy & Claire Trevor!
20 May 2018 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

Spencer Tracy is an amiable prohibition beer baron who likes to get his picture in the paper, particularly when pal Claire Trevor is writing the story. However, the end of Prohibition is in sight and while he's happy to retire, right-hand man J. Carroll Naish thinks there are plenty of other swell rackets to get into, like kidnapping, which Tracy won't stand for; he's a businessman. So Naish arranges for Tracy to wind up in prison for five years -- and tries to kill him on the way there -- and sets up a snatching ring. Tracy is let out to hunt them down, with plastic surgery so no one will recognize him, while matters get really nasty.

It's a thoroughly competent programmer from Fox in this period, with some nice Pre-Code touches and great performances by Claire Trevor and Matt McHugh and Ralph Morgan in support -- even if the lines didn't always make sense. Tracy is fine in the early scenes, although I was distracted by his make-up after his "plastic surgery", which looked like his prosthetics from DOCTOR JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. Irving Cummings' direction is, as always, impeccable, although given the straitened circumstances of the studio, no money was wasted on the production.

Cummings was one of those directors who could turn his hand to anything and crank out a fine movie, from spectacles like THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD to Shirley Temple vehicles to reshooting most of IN OLD ARIZONA after a jackrabbit had put Raoul Walsh out of commission. If he's not well remembered these days, I think it's because critics and film scholars like to be able to identify an auteur easily and Cummings suited his methods to the movie, rather than the other way around. Foolish man!


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