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Bullets or Ballots (1936)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 6 June 1936 (USA)
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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 »

Director:

William Keighley

Writers:

Seton I. Miller (screen play), Martin Mooney (story) | 1 more credit »
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Stars: James Cagney, Margaret Lindsay, Ann Dvorak
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Johnny Blake
Joan Blondell ... Lee Morgan
Barton MacLane ... Al Kruger
Humphrey Bogart ... 'Bugs' Fenner
Frank McHugh ... Herman
Joe King ... Capt. Dan McLaren (as Joseph King)
Dick Purcell ... Ed Driscoll (as Richard Purcell)
George E. Stone ... Wires Kagel
Joseph Crehan ... Grand Jury Spokesman
Henry O'Neill ... Ward Bryant
Henry Kolker ... Mr. Hollister
Gilbert Emery ... Mr. Thorndyke
Herbert Rawlinson ... Mr. Caldwell
Louise Beavers ... Nellie LaFleur
Norman Willis ... Louie Vinci
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Storyline

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 mob. "Buggs" Fenner thinks Blake is a police agent. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Little Caesar" gangs up with a "Smart Money" blonde! (Trade paper ad). See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Balas o votos 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

In the film, it is suggested that Joan Blondell's character got the idea of the numbers racket from her assistant, "Nellie". In reality, the numbers racket was pioneered by black gambling racketeers in Harlem. The "Nellie" character was based on Stephanie "Madame Queen" St. Clair (Nellie scoffs at being called "Madam Nellie"). As in the film, the numbers racket was eventually taken over by 'Dutch Schultz' (qav) and 'Lucky Luciano' (the Humphrey Bogart and Barton MacLane characters, respectively). See more »

Goofs

When Johnny Blake and the cop on horseback get into a fight, after the fight is broken up, the cop isn't wearing his badge. See more »

Quotes

Herman: He's no good, Miss Lee.
'Bugs' Fenner: She knows it.
Herman: So do I.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood and the Stars: The Man Called Bogart (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

The Lady in Red
(1935) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
Whistled by Edward G. Robinson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
mostly bullets
10 December 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

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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