The Public Defender (1931)

Passed   |    |  Crime, Drama, Mystery

The Public Defender (1931) Poster

Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal.... See full summary »



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3 February 2013 | MartinHafer
| Better than you'd might suspect.
To most, Pike Winslow (Richard Dix) is just some rich playboy living off Daddy's fortune. However, there is quite a bit more to him than this--he is a crusading masked hero whose calling card announces that he's 'The Reckoner'! And, with his two friends (Paul Hurst and Boris Karloff), they are out to right wrongs.

The film begins with a bank officer getting accused for the bank's shortage of funds--and all the other officers ganging up on him to place this blame. However, Winslow know the man and his family and can't help but think he's being railroaded. So, the Reckoner and his friends go to work--stealing documents from the real crooks that would implicate them.

All in all, this B-movie plays a lot like a very well-written and understated series film--such as Bulldog Drummond, the Saint, the Shadow or the like. But, the film is better written and quite exciting compared to a typical film of the genre. Too bad they didn't make some sequels--I would have enjoyed seeing further adventures of the Reckoner. Of course, given that 1931 also saw Karloff in "Frankenstein", perhaps he just better things to do than appear in more of these films.

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