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The Big Shot (1942)

Fearing life in prison for a third offense, convict Duke Berne pulls out of an armored car robbery, planned by his crooked lawyer, but he is framed for the robbery anyway.

Director:

Lewis Seiler

Writers:

Bertram Millhauser (original screenplay), Abem Finkel (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Humphrey Bogart ... Joseph 'Duke' Berne
Irene Manning ... Lorna Fleming
Richard Travis ... George Anderson
Susan Peters ... Ruth Carter
Stanley Ridges ... Martin T. Fleming, Attorney
Minor Watson ... Warden George Booth
Chick Chandler ... Frank 'Dancer' Smith
Joe Downing Joe Downing ... Frenchy (as Joseph Downing)
Howard Da Silva ... Sandor
Murray Alper ... Quinto, a Convict
Roland Drew ... Faye
John Ridgely ... Tim
Joe King ... Prosecutor Toohey (as Joseph King)
John Hamilton ... Judge
Virginia Brissac ... Mrs. Booth
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Storyline

Three time loser Duke Berne risks life in prison with one more armored car robbery. His attorney's wife Lorna, Berne's old sweetheart, keeps him from it but he goes to jail anyway. Duke and Lorna get some time together again after he stages a prison break, but if he stays with her his old friend George will have to take the rap for killing one of the guards. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE SAGA OF THE RISE AND FALL OF A GANG LORD AND HIS LADY! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 June 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der große Gangster See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Goofs

During the exciting chase on snow and icy road towards the end, we see the pursuing police on motorbikes through the rear window of Duke's car, shooting bullets through the glass. However, during a quick series of exterior and interior cuts, the motorbikes disappear and then quickly reappear on one occasion. See more »

Quotes

Joseph 'Duke' Berne: When a thing stinks, it stinks.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Humphrey Bogart (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Sweet Georgia Brown
(uncredited)
Music by Maceo Pinkard and Ben Bernie
Played during Dancer's stage act
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Air of Doom
25 April 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Big Shot was completed just as the USA was getting into World War II and it would be many years before Humphrey Bogart once again played a gangster role. He ended his career as Warner Brothers gangster however with a good role that more than faintly resembled his High Sierra and George Raft's part in Each Dawn I Die.

The story of The Big Shot is told in flashback as Bogart lies in a prison hospital. As he relates it, Bogey's a three time loser who if he gets another conviction it's permanent accommodations for him at the state's expense. Like Roy Earle in High Sierra, it's really too late for him to go straight.

But what a surprise he gets when he finds his former girl friend, Irene Manning, now married to big shot criminal attorney and criminal mastermind Stanley Ridges. When they start taking up where they left off, it's the beginning of the end for Bogey.

Like Roy Earle and Hood Stacey in Each Dawn I Die, there is an air of doom about Bogey's Duke Berne in The Big Shot. No matter what he does it will end bad for him as it does for those other characters. But the audience gets quite a ride. Best bit of action is that police chase with Bogart and Manning being pursued by upstate cops.

Best supporting performance in the film is that of Chick Chandler who plays another convict Dancer with whom Bogey makes a prison break. Chandler did work in vaudeville and was a song and dance man and got to use those skills in the role. Also Stanley Ridges is one mean and nasty villain.

This was the time that Bogart was between classics The Maltese Falcon and Casablanca. Though The Big Shot is not up there with those two, it's a lot better than other stuff he was doing at the time like All Through the Night and Across the Pacific. This is a good film for a Bogart fan to introduce someone else to the charisma and persona of Humphrey Bogart without using a classic.


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