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6,000 Enemies (1939)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 9 June 1939 (USA)
A tough prosecutor who has sent dozens of criminals to prison finds himself framed on a bribery charge and winds up in prison himself.


George B. Seitz


Bertram Millhauser (screen play), Wilmon Menard (based upon a story by) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Pidgeon ... Steve Donegan
Rita Johnson ... Anne Barry
Paul Kelly ... Dr. Malcolm Scott
Nat Pendleton ... 'Socks' Martin
Harold Huber ... Joe Silenus
Grant Mitchell ... Warden Parkhurst
John Arledge ... Phil Donegan
J.M. Kerrigan ... Dan Barrett
Adrian Morris Adrian Morris ... 'Bull' Snyder
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams ... Maxie (as Guinn Williams)
Arthur Aylesworth ... Dawson
Raymond Hatton ... 'Wibbie' Yern
Lionel Royce Lionel Royce ... 'Dutch' Myers
Tom Neal ... Ransom
Willie Fung ... Wang


A tough prosecutor who has sent dozens of criminals to prison finds himself framed on a bribery charge and winds up in prison himself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

9 June 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Six Thousand Enemies See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film received its television premiere in Los Angeles Monday 14 January 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11); it first aired in Philadelphia 5 March 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6), in New Haven CT 11 March 1957 on WNHC (Channel 8), in Altoona PA 21 March 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), in Chicago 5 April 1957 on WBBM (Channel 2), in Minneapolis 16 August 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9) and in Miami 20 August 1957 on WCKT (Channel 7); it was first shown in San Francisco 28 December 1958 on KGO-TV (Channel 7), but there is no record of its having been telecast in New York City until 22 February 1962 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »


A Hot Time in the Old Town
(1896) (uncredited)
Music by Theodore A. Metz
Lyrics by Joe Hayden
In the score during the election montage
See more »

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User Reviews

Not Much Sense but Highly Entertaining
7 May 2011 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

6,000 Enemies (1939)

*** (out of 4)

Good "B" picture from MGM about a tough-as-nails D.A. (Walter Pidgeon) who sends everyone to the big house and he takes pleasure in making sure that the streets are clear of any scum. His luck eventually runs out when a gangster frames his and soon the D.A. gets sent to the same prison where he's sent thousands of people. Once inside his life is in danger but he plans on making it through and along the way he meets a woman (Rita Johnson) he sent up who might just have been innocent as well as hold a clue to his own case. 6,000 ENEMIES is without question MGM's attempt to try and capture the mood and spirit of a Warner crime picture and for the most part it succeeds. At just 62-minutes there's really no time for any character development or any type of plot growth as everything happens without much reason for thought. The first five-minutes pretty much covers Pidgeon's rise to the top and then the next two-minutes covers his fall from grace and yet the way he's framed makes no sense and probably could have been defeated inside any court room. With that said, there's really no point in making fun of the plot too much because the movie was made to be simple entertainment and that's exactly what it manages to be. I thought the prison stuff was a lot of fun as we get a lot of familiar situations yet director Seitz really makes them seem fresh and original. One of the highlights is a scene where the D.A. wants to be put in with the regular guys instead of the safe haven so they send him to the cafeteria where a full riot breaks out. Another very good sequence has him having to fight 'Socks' Martin (Nat Pendleton) who just happens to be one of the men sent to kill him. There's another good subplot between the D.A. and a doctor (Paul Kelly) inside the prison. In a film like this it's always good to have a strong group of actors and they all do fine work here with Pidgeon fitting the role of the tough guy with ease. He has no problem making you believe he's this brilliant D.A. and he is good at showing off his toughness as well. I thought both Kelly and Pendleton added a lot of entertainment and both are strong as usual. Johnson was also very good in her role and you'll certainly be wishing you could see more of her. Character actor Grant Mitchell plays the dimwitted warden and we even get Guinn Williams in a brief part. Fans of "B" crime pictures are going to get a real kick out of this one. It's certainly far from a masterpiece but then again it wasn't trying to be GONE WITH THE WIND.

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