Five members of a teen-age gang, including leader Jimmy Smith, are sent to the State Reformatory, presided over by the melodramatically callous Thompson. Soon, Patsy Gargan, a former ... See full summary »
After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Actress Jessica Wells, sister of actor Damon Wells, is on top of her form except when her husband Vance is around. When Vance takes her to the apartment of a theatrical producer she comes home incoherent and Vance is found dead in the vanished producer's hotel suite. Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
[Speaking of Jessica]
If there's a remedy for her, it's not in my satchel.
Aunt Martha Temple:
Oh, but, doctor, there must be something... other cases?
The doctors who understood these cases are all dead. They died in the Middle Ages. They would have said she's possessed... and they would have been right... perhaps.
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If this film has a weak spot it's the story's details. Without giving anything away the whole idea of Vance's (Calhern) Svengali-like hypnotic effect on his wife (Astor) is a bit far-fetched, even for 1934. And quite frankly Robinson's disguise left a lot to be desired. And let's not forget the clue that clinched the policeman's case. I can't imagine building a case of such flimsy evidence. There's other areas of concern but I digress. Now for the good part: where the film shines is in the performances. This bevy of fine actors does a most excellent job at presenting complex characters driven by events not of their own choosing. It's a pretty talky film but I didn't mind in the least. The dialog is spirited, lively, expressive. And the performers tended to make me forget the plot's weak points. They were captivating, all of them, Robinson, Astor, Calhern, Cortez (in a rare good guy part), and last but not least, Mae Clarke, in my opinion a most underrated actor.
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