6.8/10
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15 user 7 critic

The Big Shakedown (1934)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 6 January 1934 (USA)
Racketeers flood the market with counterfeit cosmetics and drugs, causing some tragedies.

Writers:

Niven Busch (screenplay), Rian James (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Charles Farrell ... Jimmy Morrell
Bette Davis ... Norma Nelson
Ricardo Cortez ... Dutch Barnes
Glenda Farrell ... Lily 'Lil' Duran
Allen Jenkins ... Lefty
Henry O'Neill ... Mr. Sheffner
Dewey Robinson ... Slim
John Wray ... Higgins
Philip Faversham ... John - New Salesman
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Regan - Bartender
Renee Whitney ... Mae LaRue
G. Pat Collins ... Gyp (as George Pat Collins)
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... Trigger
Ben Hendricks Jr. Ben Hendricks Jr. ... Spike (as Ben Hendricks)
George Cooper ... Shorty
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Storyline

Former bootlegger Nick Barnes pressures neighborhood druggist Jimmy Morrell into making cut-rate drugs. The money makes it possible for Jimmy to marry Norma Frank, a pharmacy clerk. Expecting a baby, she wants Jimmy to quit the racket. Beaten by the mob, Jimmy works on, diluting the medications still further. Norma is rushed to the hospital for a premature delivery and given bogus medication. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 January 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shakedown See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures 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

Final film of director John Francis Dillon. See more »

Quotes

Dutch Barnes: Lefty, what's our racket?
Lefty: Beer!
Dutch Barnes: Beer, huh, you're five minutes late. We're going into the drug business.
Lefty: Not me. I got a brother doing twenty years for going into the drug business and all they found on him was two decks of coke.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown over a background of coins and bills. Then the lead actors are shown above their written names. See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Is Your Life: Bette Davis (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Losing You
(uncredited)
Music by Samuel Pokrass
Played on the radio in the apartment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bad early Davis
18 May 2006 | by Bucs1960See all my reviews

It was films like this that caused Bette Davis to flee to England in an attempt to break her Hollywood contract. During the early '30s, she was forced into quickies with weak stories, bland co-stars and mediocre directors and was never given much chance to utilize her talents as a superb actress. She is co-starred here with Charles Farrell, who was a superstar of the silents but didn't seem to click in talkies. (He went on the gain fame on television in "My Little Margie" and personal fame as the mayor of Palm Springs). Ricardo Cortez plays his usual role as a gangster, this time utilizing Farrell's training as a pharmacists to black market bogus drugs. They start with toothpaste!!!!.....but soon move on to more dangerous territory. Frankly, I found the premise just a bit ridiculous and the acting even more so. Miss Davis looks like she would rather be somewhere else and has little to do. Cortez really overdoes it and Farrell is just downright bad. If you like Bette Davis, then you might want to see this film if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of what low grade junk assignments she had to put up with early in her career. Otherwise, it's not worth it.


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