User Reviews (12)

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  • The cop's son, as correctly identified in the cast list, is played by Regis Toomey, not by "a very young William Holden" as stated by another viewer.

    William Holden (I) (1918-1981) did not enter films until 1938.

    The William Holden (II) in this film (1862-1932) is a much older character actor, who plays Inspector McArthur, and who is no relation to his better known latter day namesake.

    Considering the six year gap between their two careers, there is really no reason to confuse the two actors.

    For further information on Regis Toomey, consult his webpage.
  • I am really shocked that "Framed" is not a more famous film. I am also surprised that it's somehow lapsed into the public domain--an inglorious ending to a terrific gangster film.

    Evelyn Brent plays Rose Manning--one of the hardest dames you could ever see in Pre-Code gangster films. Shortly after the film begins, Rose learns that the one person in life she cared about, her father, has been killed in a shootout with the cops. She blames Inspector McArthur (William Holden--NOT the one you're thinking about, but an older actor of the same name) and wants her revenge. However, she's a smart cookie and her revenge will be slow in coming. In the meantime, she becomes pals with a hood named Bing (the aptly named Maurice Black) and they open a classy gambling hall named after her.

    Time passes and finally you learn of Rose's plan. She has seduced Inspector McArthur's very naive son, Jimmy (Regis Toomey) and she knows this will drive the Inspector nuts! How did she do it? She convinced the young dummy that she is an innocent lady who truly loves him! Not surprisingly, when Jimmy tells his father, there is a HUGE blowup between them and Jimmy won't believe that his fiancée is a criminal. However, Bing is NOT a subtle sort of guy. Despite Rose's plan, he decides the best thing to do is just kill Jimmy. But when Rose learns of this, you see that this hard-hearted dame MIGHT just have fallen for the squirt. What's next? See this film.

    This film has so much going for it. Most importantly, at the time this film was made, Radio Pictures was doing a great job with sound pictures. I have seen several of their films from 1929-1930 and the sound is VERY clear and the actors don't tend to stand around hidden microphones--a serious problem with many of the early talkies. Additionally, the film, while a tad sentimental at the end, is great because the bad people really are awful and the film avoids pulling its punches. I'd stack this crime film up along side the best of the genre of the day ("Little Caesar", "Scarface" and "The Public Enemy")--due to wonderful writing, acting and a professional production all around. Well worth seeing--and available for free download at
  • ... with some Hitchcockian irony thrown in. This was certainly a good vehicle for Evelyn Brent who plays Rose Manning. The first scene is her surrounded by cops acting like a football team. Maybe if they confuse her with enough questions she'll confess? In this case they are looking for the killer of her father. Two of his associates are shown to her in a lineup and she says she does not know them.

    Meanwhile she is sure that Police Inspector "Butch" McArthur (William not THAT William Holden) is responsible for her beloved dad's murder, and years later she still wants revenge.. She goes to work for gangster Chuck Gaines (Raf Harolde) as a hostess at his nightclub. At least I THINK that's her job. She doesn't sing or dance, just goes from table to table. The front story to keep the customers off of her is that she is Gaines' girl. Problem is, the story is apparently so convincing even Gaines believes it. A young guy is at the club night after night (Regis Toomey as Jimmy) who is head over heels for Rose and wants to marry her, taking up all of Rose's time. She thinks he is just a sweet kid until she finds out Jimmy is actually the inspector's son, the son of the man she think killed her dad. What worse revenge could she send upon him than to have a gun moll as his daughter in law? Meanwhile Chuck Gaines is a dumb gangster or the police are even more dumb. First off, Raf Harolde portrays his gangster more as cowardly weasel than brains of a syndicate. Jimmy Cagney he is not. But then WB in its prime RKO is not either, so what can I say? Gaines never does the killing himself, he always sends his doorman out to do the job, dressed up in a costume as obvious as an organ grinder, and uses the same corner drugstore and the same time (midnight) for all of his hits. The owner of the all night drugstore, the police, and the fact that it is all of Gaines' old friends that are being bumped off should make somebody wise to this guy's ways.

    How does this all work out? Very ironically in a way you'd never guess. Yes some of the scenes are laughable, but overall it is one of the better early talkie films I've seen from that year.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    No one did sulky/sultry quite like Evelyn Brent. She really hit her stride in the late 1920s with parts in a couple of Josef von Sternberg ground breaking films. When talkies came along she was thought enough of by Paramount to be cast in their first all talkie production, "Interference", and no one in the cast (not even William Powell) seemed more natural or at ease in front of a mike than Evelyn. Even though Paramount had her pegged for stardom she was mysteriously let go amid rumours of temperament but Brent claimed that as an independent woman she was just speaking her mind. Fortunately for film fans her brand of "bad girl" continued to be in demand and in "Framed" she gives a blistering performance which makes you wonder why she didn't find stardom - especially when Ralf Harolde, who plays "Chuck" gives a very mannered, stagy performance, obviously still finding his "talkie" feet!!

    Film opens (and closes) with an innovatively filmed interrogation scene in which Rose Manning is grilled by the police and realises that they may have killed her father. Five years later a vengeful Rose is now a nightclub hostess but still planning the demise of police chief "Butch" McArthur (William Holden) - through his son, persistent nightclub patron Jimmie (Regis Toomey - did he ever play a tough guy - I doubt it!!) There is more than enough evidence to suggest with Harolde's "madly mugging" performance that he was the real killer of Rose's dad. The result is an okay crime meller (to give audiences of the day their gangster fix) with some interesting camera angles that only the smaller studios seemed game enough to try.

    Tough talking Brent keeps the action flowing and is the main reason to watch. Her costumes are gorgeous and must have blown Radio's yearly budget - there is a silver geometric evening dress and one with feathers - how could any man resist her?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I recently caught this one on the internet archives,since i like gangster movies like public enemy and scarface i had a feeling i would enjoy this one even though its a b movie from rko radio pictures that would make a blockbuster movie 3 years later,that movie of course was king Kong that broke all box office records and saved rko from going bankrupt.the story is simple a gangsters daughter is being questioned from the police because her dad and a cop were both killed.she is bullied by a police official and she vows to get revenge afterwords.years later she is the co owner of a nightclub and becomes romantically involved with the police officials son.but does'nt know its his son until someone tells her.not giving away spoilers but this is a good movie made around the same time as public enemy and little ceasar.8 out of 10
  • Brutishly interrogated by seven bullying detectives, beautiful Evelyn Brent (as Rose Manning) claims she knows nothing about a recent cop killing. Informed her racketeering father was also shot to death during the incident, Ms. Brent vows revenge against police inspector William Holden (as "Butch" McArthur) and the other "coppers" responsible. Five years later, Brent runs a nightclub casino popular with underworld types. Brent attracts many men, ranging from manicured bootlegger Ralf Harolde (as Chuck Gaines) to innocent youngish Regis Toomey (as Jimmy). The latter man has a secret which tests Brent's resolve...

    This run-of-the-mill melodrama is enjoyably for the dramatics and great beauty provided by Brent. She proved to be as good in "all-talking" pictures as she was in "silent" movies, but the parts she received were getting worse. Her "Framed" role calls for obvious melodramatics, but Brent manages to get in some subtle moments. William Holden is not the 1950s super-star. Having a lot of fun with their characters are villainous Mr. Harolde and henchman Maurice Black (as "Bing" Murdock). The former keeps his fingernails clean; the latter helps Brent and director George Archainbaud make the apartment confrontation a highlight.

    ***** Framed (3/16/30) George Archainbaud ~ Evelyn Brent, Regis Toomey, Ralf Harolde, William Holden
  • The career of Evelyn Brent probably peaked in the end of the silent era. She made three pics with von Sternberg (Underworld; Last Command; and The Dragnet) and a solid effort with William Wellman (Woman Trap) and did make the jump to talkies, but none of HER pics were successful. This one is mostly straight revenge, taking out her emotions through the cop's son, played by a very young William Holden. Brent has an undisputable presence, and an intriguing nose, and her gowns and dresses are frequently or two are cut so low in the back that they would be fashionable and mildly daring today. Fans of early talkies will love this!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Make hay while the sun shines and whoopee while the moon shines." So speaks Evelyn Brent, the glamorous operator of a casino where the booze flows as the bullets fly. With Brent's line, you know that you are in the world of pre-code Hollywood where pretty much anything goes. This drama focuses on Brent's love for decent Regis Toomey, the son of the cop who killed her father. Add in other elements of organized crime muscling in on her, and you've got a pretty spicy tale of cafe society when sobriety was not an option no matter what the law said.

    Other than some moments when certain actors speak very slowly, this is a rather interesting look at what was going on during that free for all era of prohibition. Brent's not quite a Texas Guinan or Sophie Tucker, but don't let her all American girl look fool you. Toomey, better in supporting parts, remains one of the true curiosities as a leading man, being totally bland. This reminded me of "Shopworn", another pre-code drama with similar themes, except in that film, it was a possessive mother father than a disproving father that also featured Toomey. Ralfe Harold a rather slimy rival. As pre- code films go, this is an early talkie example of how enjoyable they could be, even if the technical standards needed improving.
  • Creaky, but Sometimes Clever, this Early Talkie was Headlined by Evelyn Brent, Hardly a Household Name. But Her Acting Ability, Especially Making the Transition from the Silents, is Obvious and She Shines in this Male Oriented Gangster Film.

    Regis Toomey, in an Early Role, is Underused and Bland, but as Brent Carries the Film it Plods Along with the Expected Datedness that Plagued the Era from 1927-to about 1933. Hollywood's Transition from Silents to Talkies was, Like All Births, Painful at Times.

    This One Fares Pretty Good, but Cannot Escapes the Confines of its Playdate. Worth a Watch to See the Unknown Brent and as a Bridge Roughly Traveled as Filmdom was Finding its Feet with New Technology. The Opening and Closing are Stylistic and Connected, the Middle Meanders a bit, but Manages to be Entertaining Enough to Recommend.

    Note...There is very little Pre-Code Inclusions worth noting and the Film would have passed the Censors with no problem.
  • I really enjoyed this early talkie better than I expected. Evelyn Brent was terrific as a gal gone the wrong way - and she should have been a star or at least a major player. But that's always a roll of dice in Hollywood.

    Any resemblance to a B-picture are wholly unfair. The plot was interesting - all the actors' performances were fine - all right, not stellar but - earnestly played except for the downplayed hoodlum played by Ralf Harolde. It does not bother that some have called it stagey. I expect this from the early talkies and I compensate for it and so should you.

    The ending was whimsical and perhaps some of you may not expect it but I found it pleasing.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Is framed a bad movie? No it is not, but nowhere as good as Underworld ( Which features Evelyn Brent who is the main star here). One big problem is her character Rose is very unappealing to look at. She is very hard looking and looks about a decade older then Jimmy McArthur ( Regis Toomey). What he sees in her I will never know. I remember seeing her in The Mating Call ( one of 7 Brent films I have seen), and even in a negligee she was not beautiful. Rose is an embittered woman who is involved with gangsters and gets involved with Jimmy because she holds his policeman father responsible for her father's death, and sees him as a way to get revenge. Spoilers Ahead: Rose eventually does fall for Jimmy who kills the gangster Rose is involved in, and she helps him save his father who was targeted for death by his gang, so they do end up together. A fair gangster movie.
  • AAdaSC2 October 2018
    Evelyn Brent (Rose) is on the side of the baddies, in particular the slimy, shady Ralf Harolde (Chuck). She is questioned over the shooting of a policeman but gives nothing away. She is then told that her dad has been killed in the shootout and she holds a grudge against Inspector William Holden (Butch) whom she blames. Fast forward a few years and Brent is a nightclub hostess working for the same gang but falling in love with Regis Toomey (Jimmy) who is a client at the nightclub. Wait a minute..........Toomey is the son of Holden....could be a tricky relationship..

    It shouldn't be a tricky relationship at all. Toomey is so awful that he should completely be used and then killed. Watch and find out. Some of you may be disappointed with how things pan out but don't worry because there is someone else who is also completely awful - Maurice Black (Bing). He plays a killer. Great miscasting. Anyway, maybe he'll be killed. Watch and find out.

    In summary, not everything that you wish to happen actually does happen. The film is saved by the end sequences but a lot of this cast are just plain crap.