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Riffraff (1936)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 3 January 1936 (USA)
Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader. Unfortunately, the union members disagree ... See full summary »

Director:

J. Walter Ruben

Writers:

Frances Marion (screen play), H.W. Hanemann (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Harlow ... Hattie Muller
Spencer Tracy ... Dutch Muller
Una Merkel ... Lil
Joseph Calleia ... Nick Lewis
Victor Kilian Victor Kilian ... 'Flytrap'
Mickey Rooney ... Jimmy
J. Farrell MacDonald ... 'Brains' McCall
Roger Imhof Roger Imhof ... 'Pops'
Juanita Quigley ... Rosie
Paul Hurst ... Belcher
Vince Barnett ... Lew
Dorothy Appleby ... Gertie
Judith Wood ... Mabel
Arthur Housman ... 'Ratsy'
Wade Boteler ... Bert
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Storyline

Fisherman Dutch marries cannery worker Hattie. He quits his poorly paid job to concentrate on getting better working conditions as union leader. Unfortunately, the union members disagree with Dutch's ideas and kick him out. Without a job or union card to get another he leaves Hattie to look for work. Hattiee steals money to help him when she learns he is really down on his luck and she goes to jail. He gets a new job, foils a plot to dynamite the ship, and promises to wait for Hattie. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When a red-headed woman meets a red-headed man!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 January 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Flor de arrabal See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

News items and production charts included Lee Phelps (Sailor), Nick Thompson (Ptomaine Tony), Paul Porcasi and Dorothy Gray in the cast, but these actors were not seen in the viewed print. See more »

Goofs

During the prison escape when Harlow and friend hop into the getaway car, the seat backs are already wet before the two drenched escapees get into the auto. Obviously this was a second or third take of this scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lil: Stinko again!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Harlow: The Blonde Bombshell (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

"Rabbit's Foot' (uncredited)
Music by David Snell (I)'
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What did she see in Tracy anyway?
1 December 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In watching Riffraff again I'm struck with the burning question, what did Jean Harlow see in Spencer Tracy?

Both are working class people, he's a commercial fisherman she's his sweetheart who works in the cannery owned by Joseph Calleia. He's a blustering, pigheaded, egomanaical boorish lout of a human being, kind of lovable in his own crude way. But stack him up against Joseph Calleia, foreign accent and all, there ain't a contest. Calleia is the guy all the fishermen deal with as independent contractors with their catch. He's shrewd and clever, ruthless at times, but definitely not stupid.

Frankly if it were me in Harlow's place, there's no contest. Take up with Joseph Calleia and give Spence the old heave-ho. But if Jean did that there'd be no movie.

Tracy's taking a part that normally would have been given to Wallace Beery at MGM. Maybe before San Francisco that's how MGM executives saw Tracy, a B picture Beery. It's similar to some of the roles he played at Fox. But I can't recall another film where he played a guy so dumb.

In fact the film is an odd property for MGM. This thing should have been made at Warner Brothers with Cagney and O'Brien.

But Jean loves her man through thick and thin, even goes to jail to protect him. I can hear Fanny Brice singing in the background.

Riffraff doesn't belong at the top of the list of film credits for either Tracy or Harlow. Mickey Rooney as Harlow's younger brother, Joseph Calleia as the boss, and J. Farrell MacDonald as the wise and compassionate head of the fisherman's union have the best roles.

But you want to see Tracy and Harlow sparkle? Go buy or rent Libeled Lady.


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