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Bordertown (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 23 January 1935 (USA)
Embittered when prejudice cuts short his nascent law career, once-idealistic Johnny Ramirez leaves his home in Los Angeles and ends up in Mexico. He quickly becomes the invaluable ... See full summary »

Director:

Archie Mayo (as Archie L. Mayo)

Writers:

Laird Doyle (screen play), Wallace Smith (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Muni ... Johnny Ramirez
Bette Davis ... Marie Roark
Margaret Lindsay ... Dale Elwell
Eugene Pallette ... Charlie Roark
Robert Barrat ... Padre
Soledad Jiménez ... Mrs. Ramirez (as Soledad Jimenez)
Hobart Cavanaugh ... Harry
Gavin Gordon ... Brook Manville
William B. Davidson ... Dr. Carter (as William Davidson)
Arthur Stone ... Manuel Diego
Vivian Tobin ... Mrs. Garner
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carmen Gould Carmen Gould
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Storyline

Embittered when prejudice cuts short his nascent law career, once-idealistic Johnny Ramirez leaves his home in Los Angeles and ends up in Mexico. He quickly becomes the invaluable second-in-command to Charlie Roark, the owner of a border-town casino. But Roark's wife falls hard for Johnny and goes to great lengths to make him hers, which sets in motion more perilous events. Written by Determined Copy Editor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 January 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Barreira See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. 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

Nella Walker is on record for the part of Mrs. Elwell, but she did not appear in the film. 'Henry O'Neill' is on record for the part of Mr. Elwell, but he played the role of Attorney J.L. Chase. A modern source lists Eddie Shubert as Marketman, but he was not seen in the print. See more »

Goofs

When Johnny shows Marie to her car, the shadow of the camera is visible on the car door. See more »

Quotes

Marie Roark: The only fun I get is feeding the goldfish, and they only eat once a day.
See more »

Connections

Featured in All About Bette (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Maria Elena
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Lorenzo Barcelata
Played at the beginning and often in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Politically incorrect, but Bette's star is on the rise
4 October 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Bordertown" is the story of a Mexican attorney, Johnny Ramirez, and his fight to make something of himself and realize the American dream. Who better to portray him than the Jewish Paul Muni. After physically attacking another attorney during a disastrous court appearance, Johnny becomes a bouncer in a nightclub. However, his brains, ability, and negotiation expertise come to the attention of his boss, Roark (Eugene Palette), who agrees to bring him in as a partner. Johnny has also come to the attention of Marie Roark (Bette Davis), the restless wife of the boss, and she throws herself at him. Johnny, however, has fallen for Dale (Margaret Lindsay), a socialite. Marie kills her husband, and when he rejects her again, she tells the police that Johnny killed Roark.

Paul Muni was an excellent actor whose style of acting is perhaps dated by today's standards. He could disappear into his roles, often to great effect, but unfortunately, he doesn't disappear enough into Johnny Ramirez. His portrayal is over the top and his accent is bad. The standout is Bette Davis, young and pretty, as the unstable wife. Just off her great success in "Of Human Bondage," which was a loanout by Warners, she demonstrates here how well she takes charge of the screen.

Most of the characters are pretty stereotypical. "Bordertown" is badly dated but worth seeing for its early Bette Davis performance.


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