35 user 11 critic

Bordertown (1935)

Approved | | Crime, Drama | 23 January 1935 (USA)
In Mexico, a former lawyer becomes the invaluable second-in-command to a casino owner, whose wife begins to fall for him.


Archie Mayo (as Archie L. Mayo)


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




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


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


NOW HE'S A FUGITIVE FROM A FEMALE SCARFACE (Print Ad- Daily Kentucky New Era, ((Hopkinsville, Ky.)) 28 January 1935)


Crime | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


In this film the Spanish folk song, La Cucaracha is sung during the fiesta in Johnny's home. There are various versions of this traditional song however the version sung in the film is the one used during the Mexican Revolution. The lyrics contain a subtle reference to the drug marijuana. This film was under the close scrutiny of the Hays Office which was enforcing the Motion Picture Production Code. If this agency had been aware of this, in all probability it would have banned or revised the song. See more »


When Johnny Ramirez shortly after losing the case leaves his home and starts hitchhiking, you see a montage of calendar months indicating the passage of time. But the dates of the month do not correspond with the year 1934, which was the year of the trial as indicated by the court papers filed. Also, the sequence of calendar dates shown in the montage is out of order. They begin with August of 1936 and end with July 1936 as opposed to July 1937. See more »


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


Version of They Drive by Night (1940) See more »


Sweet Georgia Brown
(1925) (uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Played when Roark is telling the story and as Johnny patrols the Silver Slipper
See more »

User Reviews

Follow-up to Bondage
6 December 2004 | by dgibsoniaSee all my reviews

Confronting Muni in one scene, Davis suddenly so forcefully expels cigarette smoke from her nose that she looks like a cartoon bull about to charge. But though it's funny, it's not ludicrous: it's one of those startling, inspired B.D. moments.

Warners cast Davis in "Bordertown" when it became apparent that her just-completed loanout to RKO for "Of Human Bondage" was not going to wreck her career, as Warners had feared. Instead, as Davis had gambled, the risky "Bondage" had been her breakout performance. "Bordertown" was a worthy follow-up, with Davis just as compelling as the obsessor rather than the obsessee.

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 January 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bordertown See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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