The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »
I've just watched this for a second time and I'm glad I did. It's the sort of film that really requires a repeat viewing to get the best out of it.
This underrated B-mystery has a strong male cast. Pat O'Brien is a fast talking reporter. A stock 1930s character in crime movies of that time. The distinctive voice of Neil Hamilton is easily recognizable. He gets promoted to D.A. after the previous one is bumped off. At one point he looks in danger of going the same way. The film's action includes a honey-trap shooting and a staged hit and run and another car crash with a train.
On the villainous side there is the commanding presence of Louis Calhern before he wore facial hair. He is Bruno who vies with Pat O'Brien for the hand of a fast woman. J. Carroll Naish is a crook who is fond of reading the "literature of the sewer. Some of the dialog is bordering on the bawdy typical of the early 1930s movies. The alternative title 'Public Be Hanged' is more appropriate as ordinary investing people are harmed in this story of embezzlement and corruption.
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