1931. USA. Rowland Brown. 69 min.
Saturday, November 5, 2011, 8:00 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
1931. USA. Directed by Rowland Brown. Screenplay by Brown, Courtenay Terrett. Additional dialogue by John Wray. With Spencer Tracy, Marguerite Churchill, Sally Eilers, George Raft. Tracy made his debut as a Fox contract player with this subtle entry in the Hollywood gangster sweepstakes. Brown, the film’s author and director, was a former illustrator and sports cartoonist. In collaboration with star reporter Terrett, Brown produced a screenplay that was a model of economy at a time when Little Caesar was breaking house records in New York City. Tracy gave “Bugs” Raymond a Cohanesque charm that ran counter to the shakedowns and murders he ordered. What emerged was the most engaging racketeer the talkies had yet produced, featuring an affable crook with a glint of insanity in his eyes, who aspired for legitimacy—and let it be his undoing. 69 min.