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 »
Edward G. Robinson,
Dr. Clitterhouse is fascinated with the working of the criminal mind. His interest is so deep that he finds the best way to observe criminals in action is to become one himself. Whilst robbing a safe at an exclusive party he stumbles across an organized gang trying to do the same thing. He teams up with the gang to observe them in action but one of the members, Rocks Valentine would like nothing better than to see Clitterhouse out of the way.Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
Carl Laemmle Jr., Paramount and MGM bid for the rights to the play. Laemmle bought them for over $50,000. He then turned them around and sold them to Warners in return for the loan of Paul Muni for "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", a film that never got made. See more »
In the final newspaper to appear in the newspaper montage, the subheading misspells the word "clue." The subheading reads "Harbor Police Hunt for Murder Motive as Surgeons Find a Puzzling Clew." See more »
[to other gang members about Clitterhouse]
Hey, that stuffed shirt's got something on the ball!
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Highly enjoyable WB gangster movie with Edward G. Robinson as the title character, a doctor who becomes so obsessed with understanding the criminal mind he becomes a criminal himself. It's somewhat difficult to categorize this movie. It definitely has a lot of comedy with Max Rosenbloom and Allen Jenkins especially. Not to mention all of Robinson's deadpan lines. But the overall tone is that of a straightforward gangster drama. It's a fun movie either way.
Robinson is terrific, as always. He disliked doing gangster pictures but that's all WB wanted him in. So he compromised by doing gangster movies that were different from the norm. A solid cast backs him up. In addition to Jenkins and Rosenbloom mentioned before, there's Claire Trevor, Donald Crisp, and Humphrey Bogart as Rocks Valentine (what a name!). Bogart reportedly hated this role and considered it his worst. I'm not sure why that would be. It's not that different from a dozen similar gangster roles he played in the '30s. I can think of at least a couple of movies where his part was worse than this.
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