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The Big Shot (1942)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 June 1942 (USA)
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 BIG SHOT RETURNS! Up From The Gutter To Make Gangland Shudder! See more »


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

Night and Day
(uncredited)
Music by Cole Porter
Played on the piano in the Fleming apartment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Bogie's last gasp as a gangster as his image turns a corner
24 December 2009 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The Big Shot" is a 1942 film starring Humphrey Bogart and Irene Manning. Bogie is a career criminal, Joseph Berne, who is sent to prison for life for something he didn't do - set up by his own attorney (Stanley Ridges), who finds out that Joe is involved with his wife (Manning). Berne's fake alibi is provided by a young salesman, George Anderson, who needed money and instead gets a year for perjury. It's George's predicament later on that gives Joe a crisis of conscience.

After years of toil at Warner Brothers, Bogart is now a star, and his image as a gangster is softening and would morph with Casablanca into an anti-hero. He does a good job in this film - his story is told in flashback from the prison hospital. The script is problematic. One glaring offense is that the police locate a criminal in a cabin. When they get there, they don't surround it, and their prey, not even aware the police are there, go out the back and drive away. Most viewers are aware that the cops surround an edifice. Not here. The movie is not particularly well directed by Lewis Seiler. There is, however, an exciting car chase.

Of interest here is George's girlfriend, the beautiful and doomed Susan Peters, who less than three years later would be paralyzed in a hunting accident. She was signed by MGM after this film. 1942 was a banner year for her, as she was nominated for a supporting Best Actress Oscar for "Random Harvest." She died in 1952. One of Hollywood's saddest stories.


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