The Big Shakedown (1934)

Not Rated   |    |  Crime, Drama


The Big Shakedown (1934) Poster

Racketeers flood the market with counterfeit cosmetics and drugs, causing some tragedies.


6.4/10
681

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  • Bette Davis and Charles Farrell in The Big Shakedown (1934)
  • Bette Davis and Charles Farrell in The Big Shakedown (1934)
  • Bette Davis and Charles Farrell in The Big Shakedown (1934)
  • Bette Davis and Charles Farrell in The Big Shakedown (1934)
  • Bette Davis and Charles Farrell in The Big Shakedown (1934)
  • Ricardo Cortez in The Big Shakedown (1934)

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User Reviews


30 July 2011 | Michael_Elliott
Gangsters Brush Their Teeth
Big Shakedown, The (1934)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Here's yet another Warner crime picture but this one here is about as far-fetched as you can get. A young pharmacist (Charles Farrell) isn't making too much cash in his store, which means he can't marry the girl (Bette Davis) he loves. At the same time a gangster (Ricardo Cortez) realizes there's no market for beer so he gets the bright idea of making fake toothpaste, female products and eventually medicine and hires to pharmacist to make it for him. Before long the gangster has the pharmacies by the neck and soon a tragedy happens. This film runs a very quick 62-minutes and if you're a fan of "B" movies then there's quite a bit to enjoy here. Yes, the story itself is rather silly at times and the final "message" included in a three paragraph newspaper report that we're forced to read is even sillier. I think fans of Warner and the terrific cast are going to enjoy what's on display here as long as they don't go in expecting THE PUBLIC ENEMY or anything of that quality. Farrell is pretty good in his role, although I'm sure many would argue that he's a bit too laid back in part. I thought this actually helped because his character really wouldn't be the type to do anything else than what he goes through here. By this time in his career Cortez was already a master at playing low-level hoods and he's fun to watch as usual. The supporting cast includes Glenda Farrell playing the gangster's mole and we get Allen Jenkins in for a few laughs. Davis isn't the Davis that is now a legend but I always enjoy seeing her in these early movies where she's yet to really hit her stride. Her performance is just fine so fans will have fun here. The director at least keeps the film moving at a fast pace and thankfully it doesn't go on too long because there's really not enough story here for much more. THE BIG SHAKEDOWN is a "B" movie all the way but as long as you don't expect too much it's not too hard to not have fun with the cast.

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Crime | Drama

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