After police captain, McLaren becomes commissioner, former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake's sincere in his effort to join the mob. "Buggs" Fenner thinks Blake is a police agent.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Early in the film while Johnny Blake (Robinson) is sitting at a table with Joan Blondell talking, one of the old "mugs" he'd sent to Sing Sing prison walks over to him and smarts off. Without standing, he kicks the mug in the leg and punches him to the floor. While leaning over and chastising the unconscious mug, you can see that Blake's (Robinson) hair has moved forward on the right side and is messed up. In the next shot, when he leans back up to the table to talk to Joan Blondell, his hair is perfectly neat and combed. See more »
Edward G. Robinson stars as a tough detective, based on a real character, in "Bullets or Ballots," a 1936 film also starring Joan Blondell, Humphrey Bogart, Barton MacLane, and Frank McHugh.
Robinson plays Johnny Blake, modeled after a real police officer, Johnny Broderick, who worked in New York City. As in the film, the character has a highly public firing so he can work with an organized crime group running illegal games.
Bogart plays an ambitious gang member who intends to get rid of anyone in his way of taking over the organization - he starts with a newspaperman and goes from there.
Warners made such great use of its character actors, using their versatility to great advantage. Cagney, Robinson, Bogart, all started out as villains but branched out into other kinds of roles.
Strong performances by Robinson and Bogart - a good gangster flick.
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