rickrudge

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Reviews

Oedo go-nin otoko
(1951)

aka Five Men of Edo
Oedo Go-nin Otoko (1951)

Mizuno (Utaemon Ichikawa) is the new Hatamoto, a vassal for the Tokugawa Shogunate. He and his men have been harassing the residents of Edo, especially some of the other Samurai, sometimes effecting the common folk that are in the way. Mizuno's crowd pushed their way into the Kabuki theater, disrupting the event.

Things were starting to get out of hand. They were even picking on Mizuki Ayame (Kawarasaki Gonzaburo) the favorite Kabuki actor, until Banzu-in Chobei (Tsumasaburo Bando) got into the middle of it. Chobei, although not a full Samurai is designated as the Protector of the 808 towns of Edo. He's sort of a protector of the common folk. Mizuno was not happy to be told off by a commoner.

Ganpacho (Teji Takahashi) is a young ronin taken in by Chobei. He had protected Chobei from some thieves and is now tutoring Chobei's young son.

Mizuno is powerful, but doesn't have much money. He's in love with his servant girl, but is forced to try to marry a wealthy courtesan, Matsudaira Izu-no-kami (Kogiku Hanayagi), but she is in love with Ganpacho of all people. When Mizuno's men find out about this there is a big fight out in the streets where a citizen is accidentally killed.

Chobei is angry at the violence that Ganpacho had caused and had him run and hide at a temple. Mizuno is forced to sell a set of his valuable "western" plates, but the servant girl accidentally broke one of the plates, which caused angry Mizuno to kill her. Ganpacho, in his need for vengeance met with the Kabuki owner, screen writer, and the actor, Mizuki with the idea of a dramatic story of a Samurai killing a young girl over a broken plate. The temptation of a popular plot and a juicy part was too good to pass up.

You know that this isn't going to go well for everyone.

Robin Hood of Monterey
(1947)

I love Gilbert Roland's Cisco Kid
Robin Hood of Monterey (1947)

I'm aging myself here, being a big fan of the Cisco Kid TV series with Duncan Renaldo as the "gentleman of the old west" and his side-kick, Pancho played by lovable Leo Carrillo. This film isn't as sanitized as the 1950s TV show.

Gilbert Roland's version is closer to the lovable rogue that O. Henry had written about in "The Caballero's Way", and even that early talky western "In Old Arizona" (1928). This one has Chris-Pin Martin as Pancho, his loyal side-kick. Gilbert's character will actually speak Spanish or has an authentic accent. He isn't above smoking, drinking, robbery and stealing kisses from pretty señoritas.

The story line is pretty light-weight and light-hearted, but quite enjoyable.

Gilbert Roland's Cisco Kid was so good that he made a sequel, "King of the Bandits" (1947), which is supposedly just as good. As of this writing, "Robin Hood of Monterey" is on Tubi and "King of the Bandits" is on YouTube.

La muerte de un gallero
(1977)

The Death of a (cockfighting enthusiast)
La Muerte De Un Gallero (1977) aka The Death of a Gallero (cockfighting enthusiast)

Being a gringo, I'm not familiar with the movie star and singer Antonio Aguilar except that he's very popular. I have seen a huge assortments of movie posters that prominently featured him, usually with a huge-brimmed sombrero. Even when the Spanish language TV channels broadcasting his movies, I couldn't really get an idea what this star was like.

Fortunately I was able to view this film on Tubi TV and it had English subtitles.

The story is about Lazaro (Antonio Aguilar), who is part of a crooked man's entourage. He's also a Gallero, who raises fighting cocks. The shady character is Luis Macarena, who cheats every chance he gets. Not a subtle villain in this movie. He takes advantage of a down-on-his-luck, old Gallero, Mr. Nicanor, and offers him a loan to bet on his fighting cock, while putting up his house and everything inside (the furnishings) as collateral. Luis sneak some razor spurs on his rooster to win in the cockfight. The old man has a cardiac arrest and soon dies.

Lazaro is a fun-loving bachelor, but has a special soft spot for the dead old man daughter, Rosalinda Nicanor (Elsa Aguirre). Lazaro is wild with the women. However, he is very respectful with Rosalinda and will attack anyone who defames her.

Rosalinda is shocked to find that her father is dying and he literally bet the farm. Luis is suggesting that she could stay on if she married him, to the amazement of Lazaro.

American Biker
(2015)

A documentary for motorcyclists.
American Biker (2015)

This one hour documentary talks about the love of motorcycles and motorcycle riding. The film doesn't go the route (and extent) of Bruce Brown's "On Any Sunday" franchise, that deals with all of the different motorcycle sports (racing, hill-climbing, etc.). Personally, Bryan H. Caroll's "Why We Ride" (2013) is a far superior documentary about the passion riders have with motorcycle riding in general, but "American Biker" is a smaller, but interesting film.

It mostly deals with an impromptu motorcycle club and their annual group rides but also interviews motorcycle owners, dealers, repairmen, and home modification hobbyists. The documentary also covers the various aspects and attitudes of motorcyclists about helmet laws, clubs, gangs, group rides, benefits etc. This is a movie for and about motorcycles and the people who love them. If you're one of those, this movie will be enjoyable to you.

Hâdo romanchikkâ
(2011)

Typical Yakuza movie with teen idols
Hard Romanticker (2011)

I'm not a good judge of Yakuza movies. They're always so violent and tragic because crime doesn't pay, of course, but it seems like the characters are always so doomed. This one is very typical only it dealing with younger guys wanting to become full-fledged gangsters. You have the young motorcycle gangsters (Bosozoku), drug dealers, knuckle busters, want-to-be pimps, etc.

The protagonist Gu (Shota Matsuda, with died blond hair) is willing to do anything it takes to make it as a Yakuza. He tries to do the honorable thing, but is sold out by his bosses, harassed by the cops and beat up by the competition.

Gokudô daisenso
(2015)

A Vampire/Yakuza hybrid!
Yakuza Apocalypse (2015)

Leave it to the Japanese under the direction of Takashi Miike to come up with a hybrid of a Yakuza and a vampire movie, but here you are. It is a strange movie with a weird frogman, a guy with a bird beak, and a renaissance missionary Japanese guy mumbling in English and shooting people with a 2-stroke motor scooter muffler.

Akira Kageyama (Hayato Ichihara) is a young Yakuza shadowing his Yakuza boss and mentor Kamiura (Riri Furanki), who orders his crew to not harm the neighborhood civilians who are all going through rough financial times. The Yakuza Boss is a vampire and embibes his blood from a local bar. As with most Yakuza movies there's some competing Yakuza as well as his own crew who are not following those rule.

A young girl, Kyoko (Riko Narumi) is brutally raped and beaten by some Yakuza thugs and Kageyama has sort of fallen for her. There's also a wimpy young man, Masaru (Makoto Sakaguchi) who just wants to commit suicide. There's a ton of other characters.

The acting is really pretty good compared to what most Hollywood vampire movies have done.

Oneechanbara: The Movie - Vortex
(2009)

A "B" (well maybe more of a "C") Movie
Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (2009) (aka: Oneechanbara the Movie - Vortex)

It's simply a Japanese Zombie picture with a lot of family drama thrown in, but is based on an Xbox and Playstation game. It has okay dubbing for such a low budget horror flick. It's probably rated R for flashing a little breast and a lot of blood.

Aya Imichi (Eri Otoguro) is the sword wielding, cowboy hat and bikini wearing protagonist that is out to get her sister, Saki (Nao Takamori). Aya is traveling with her heavyset sidekick, Katsuji (Tomohiro Waki), who is sort of the comic relief and voice of reason in a crazy zombie environment. In their travels they meet Reiko (Manami Hashimoto), a leather-clad gun slinger, who never seems to need to reload.

Their destination is the mad scientist, Dr. Sugita's (Taro Suwa) lair where he has tried to regenerate life, but seems to always come up with creating zombies. Naturally, there's lots of fighting and sword action that you would expect.

Accident Man
(2018)

An excellent actioner
I've never read the comics, but I have really enjoyed watching the film adaptation of "Accident Man". It's a quick-moving actioner with some unknown actors (except for David Paymer the Milton character) at least to this American viewer.

It has sort of a Guy Richie feel to it dealing with criminal types being the protagonist. Scott Adkins plays Mike Fallon who's also known as the Accident Man. He's part of an organized assassination group. Mike is called Accident Man because his specialty is making his hits look like accidents.

The movie is filled with various characters as well as excellent fight choreography. It even has a bit of humor to it. It's well worth watching.

Hashiriya ZERO 1 & 2 Street densetsu
(2009)

(Street Racing ZERO 1 Street Legand)
Hashiriya ZERO 1 Street densetsu (2009) (Street Racing ZERO 1 Street Legand)

On TubiTV, this movie is called "Midnight Drift". It's a teenage street racing movie; based on the Playstation game, "Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero". During the movie, they show a video game style map of the racing route. Other than this, the movie is pretty low tech, without the crazy computerized car crashes that you'd expect from "The Fast and the Furious" franchise. The story was pretty predictable, but it was an enjoyable movie and not a total waste of your time.

The movie starts out with a D&SC car race up in the hills. Riyiuchi is the top racer with the prestigious ZERO title. His racing fans are all there, including his fiancé, Reiko (Akina Aoshima), his sister, Aoi (Anri Sugihara) and his mechanic, Masa Tanabe (Shingo Nakagawa). There's also a young up-and-coming racer-wannabe, Kazuki (Akira Nagata) who wants to take on the ZERO.

Riyiuchi is able to see some driving talent in Kazuki, but he needs more training to take him on. I wasn't able to see the second in this series.

Go Grandriders
(2012)

Go Go Go Grandriders!!!
Go Grandriders (2012)

This movie is about an organized group of 17 octogenarians who are riding motor scooters and small motorcycles around the edge of the island of Taiwan (about 1,178 kilometers/ about 732 miles). Despite the long ride and making several stops, there are some hazards along the way. Many of them suffer from the regular ailments of the elderly, including cancer, but that's not stopping them from going on this ride.

As a motor scooter rider in my mid-sixties, I can really relate to the enjoyment, challenges and camaraderie of going on a large group ride. The movie shows some of the beautiful sights of Taiwan and we get a chance to learn about these people.

Brittown
(2008)

The motorcycle lifestyle
Brittown (2008)

This documentary has been compared with "On Any Sunday" but it sort of works on it's own. If you watch the TV channel, Motortrend, you see shows about shops fixing cars all the time. Well, this is very similar dealing with Jeff "Meatball" Tulinius and his motorcycle shop, Hell on Wheels in Anaheim, California. He and his friends work on old motorcycles, rebuilding them.

Meatball loves Triumphs (thus the name Brittown) and is rebuilding a 1971 Bonneville 650. In between, he's out riding and racing with his buddies and playing music at his local hang-out. The photography is fantastic and the soundtrack is also nice with various styles of music.

If you like motorcycles and racing, you're going to love this movie.

Cike Nie Yin Niang
(2015)

"The Assassin" is kind of misleading, but an alright film
The Assassin (2015)

This is the first Taiwanese movie that I've ever seen, although it was also filmed in mainland (PRC) China and Japan. It wasn't as flashy or action-packed as some of the Hong Kong, or mainland Chinese movies.

Normally the bubbly film star Shu Qi is playing a subdued assassin Nie Yinniang. She hardly has more than a few lines of dialog. Her character is rather sad too. Most of the other characters are featured more prominently, but even they are more concerned with being Yinniang's next victim.

Otoko no monsho: hana to nagadosu
(1964)

The Flower and the Sword (1964)
Otoko no Monsho: Hana to Nagadosu AKA The Flower and the Sword (1964)

This is one of a series of Man's Mom: Yakuza pictures with Yukiko Todoroki, Masako Izumi and the handsome Takahashi Hideki. This film is directed by Eisuke Takizawa. Unlike the more modern urban Yakuza movies, this has more of a samurai look to it. As most Japanese movies, there's some comedy, drama and even a few singing numbers.

Ryuji (Takahashi Hideki) is a tattooed Yakuza trying to go legit, and always trying to do the right thing by everyone. His mother Ladie Murata (Yukiko Todoroki) is a Yakuza boss. Ryuji has been hired to build a bridge through a village requiring some of the villagers to relocate. A competing yakuza boss and his gang is harassing the villagers to stay put, trying to force the bridge to be built outside of the village.

Akutarô-den: Warui hoshi no shita demo
(1965)

Born Under Crossed Stars (1965)
Born Under Crossed Stars (1965)

This is a nice movie, part comedy and part teenage, coming of age drama directed by Seijun Suzuki. I don't believe that it's available on DVD, but it is on YouTube and Tubi with English subtitles.

A young student who works as a milk man, Jukichi Suzuki (Ken Yamauchi) reacts to injustice where ever he finds it. He's incensed when his school mate Etsuko Mishima (Michi Azuma) is being punished for breaking the school rules for walking with a girl who ends up being his cousin, a studious Suzuko Mishima (Masako Izumi) who reads the same Tolstoy's books as Jukichi.

Later, he finds Yoshio kissing a girl behind a sacred shrine during a festival. He tells Yoshio that he'll no longer deliver milk to such a worm and warns the girl, Taneko Yamaga (Yumiko Nogawa) that a boy like him is just toying with her and would ruin her life. That chivalry affects Taneko and she pursues Jukichi.

Jukichi eventually succumbs to Taneko's feminine whiles but still feels more compatible with Suzuko. Jukichi's father is a habitual gambler and his financial problems further complicates Jukichi's life.

Night Owls
(2015)

Night Owls (2015)
This is a nice little movie about two people who are both involved with hero worship.

Kevin (Adam Pally) feels so lucky to be picked up by a beautiful young woman, Madeline (Rosa Salazar) at a party. She drives him to a big house where they continue drinking and make love. Afterwards, Kevin wakes up to an empty bed, gets up, and cleans the mess they made in the kitchen. Then he realizes that they were in the house of his boss, the head coach, Will Campbell (Peter Krause). He quickly calls his immediate supervisor, Peter (Rob Huebel) and explains the situation.

Peter explains that the girl is Will's jilted mistress, and on top of that, she has emptied a bottle of sleeping pills. Kevin makes her vomit and spends the rest of the evening keeping her awake. Naturally, they get to know each other better, and they also both get to learn a little more about their selves.

Rosa Salazar is so beautiful. I can't wait to see more movies with her in them.

In Old Arizona
(1928)

In Old Arizona shows off early sound
In Old Arizona (1928)

This movie is the first full-length talky western and directors, Irving Cummings and Raoul Walsh did an excellent job showing the audience what new layers sound can add to a film. Ham & eggs sizzling in the pan, the clomping of the horse hooves, the music and singing, and of course people's accents were all new and wonderful then. Although Warner Baxter sounded more like Bela Lugosi than a Mexican.

This was only the second movie that introduced us to the Cisco Kid and was the closest adaptation to O. Henry's short story, The Caballero's Way. There was a silent version in 1914. In this movie, he was more of a lovable rogue than the Gentleman of the Old West that Duncan Renaldo portrayed on television and there is no Pancho (Leo Carrillo) side-kick either.

The Cisco Kid (Warner Baxter) is a thief and ruthless killer but holds a special soft spot for his girl, Tonia Maria (Dorothy Burgess) who, well, is kind of a gold-digging slut. The story opens with Cisco robbing a stage coach of it's gold box. He takes a locket from a passenger, but pays her in gold for it. The locket is given to Tonia in one of his visits.

The local Army is tired of this character running around their territory and the Commanding Officer assigns Sergeant Mickey Dunn to bring him in, dead or alive. Mickey is a New York player who is as charismatic as Cisco and maybe as good a shot. When Mickey finds that Tonia is Cisco's girl, they play right into each other's hands. Plus, the $5,000 reward is very appealing to Tonia. Cisco might have met his match this time.

Shabake
(2007)

A boy seeing spirits is trying to solve a murder
Shabake (2007)

A sickly young teen, Ichitaro (Yuya Tegoshi) is able to see and interrelate with Shinto-style Kami spirits. Some of them take human form, like Shirasawa and Inubami who are like his body guards. An interesting Kabuki wallpaper character Byobu Nozoki (Miyasako Hiroyuki) comes in and out of a screen. There are other spirits that are in unusual makeup and there's great special effects.

Ichitaro doesn't tell his Father, Fuji Hyoue (Kishibe Ittoku) and Mother Fuji Bee (Miki Maya) about his abilities. The parents too have some secrets of their own that don't come out until later in the movie.

In addition, Ichitaro has seen a man get killed and it seems that other attacks seem to be involved with him.

This is a made-for-TV (Fuji TV) movie for all Japanese ages. I'm not sure what the title translates to. Sha bake means Shabby, but that doesn't have anything to do with this story. The DVD comes with English, Chinese, and Malaysian subtitles. Although the movie is well-made, the English translation is pretty bad (enough to reduce the stars in my rating) but it's good enough to keep up with the story.

Daisatsujin orochi
(1966)

Excellent Chambara Faire
The Betrayal (1966)

aka Daisatsujin orochi

A big braggart Samurai (Rytaro Gomi) barges into Master Isaka Yaichiro's dojo to challenge the Sensei, who wasn't there. Two students from the dojo go after this guy, bushwack and mortally wound him but he escapes to tell of the attack before he dies.

This neighboring gang comes back to the dojo and wants satisfaction. No one claimed to be the attacker.

Raizo Ichikawa, who is famous for his Sleepy Eyes of Death franchise, plays Takuma Kamuse , a young, talented, yet naive Samurai. He is engaged to Namie Katagiri (Kauru Yachigusa). Her father finds out that his nephew, Jurota Makabe (Ichiro Makatani) were the ones who killed the Samurai.

Part of this was a sense of Samurai loyalty, another part was not wanting to refuse his fiance's Father pleading for Takuma to run away for a year, making him seem like the prime suspect to the murder. If, after a year, this mess isn't cleared up, the father would commit hari kari.

On the run, Tacuma befriends a sarcastic crook, Funajiro (Fujioka Takuya) who follows him around and robs him every chance he gets. Poor Takuma is also betrayed by Jurota, and the father, Katagiri who dies before the year is up, forcing Takuma to be chased by the law, the angry gang, (who wants vengeance) and his own dojo.

In a fight with his dojo's sensei Takuma falls off a cliff. He is nursed back to health by a beautiful waitress, Shino (Shisho Fujimura) who falls in love with him, but Takuma is still in love with his Namie, but has given up all hope. Later, working for a Yakuza, Takuma sees Namie working in a brothel.

This is a very good movie except for the inevitable sword fight finale between Takuma and several armies of Samurai. By the late nineteen-sixties, the giant fight scene against countless Samurai has become clichéd, but at the time, it was very impressive.

Polly of the Circus
(1932)

Pre-code but tame, all the same
Polly of the Circus (1932)

This was a talkie remake of an earlier silent film from 1917 and a stage play that was popular before the last century. But, this movie hasn't aged well for 21st century tastes. It's a pre-Code movie but the issues are so tame (even for the day) that the movie seems kind of corny. Marion Davies' Polly Brown is your typical spunky, frolicking, young circus acrobat heroine from the silent age. She's a free spirit, but totally innocent.

Clark Gable plays Reverend John Hartley for a very small town. The local morality squad is upset about an advertisement for the traveling circus featuring Polly in her leotards. Reverend Hartley fixes the tempers by nailing some clothes over the offending tights.

Polly is injured while doing her act and Reverend Hartley takes her in while she recovers, to the further ire of the old biddies of the local morality squad. Naturally, John and Polly start to fall in love with each other. Despite them marrying, this is serious enough with the community that Hartley is fired from the church.

Reverend James Northcott (C. Aubrey Smith) talks to Polly, making her consider leaving poor John so that he can go back to the calling that he loves so much.

Band of Angels
(1957)

It's not meant to be a GWTW
Band of Angels (1957)

A lot of people saw this as Clark Gable playing up the "Gone With the Wind" angle, but it's really a story about slavery and race in America. It's not a classic like GWTW, but it should stand on it's own merits. Sure, it's a bit watered down for the late 50s sensibilities, and yes, it's pretty melodramatic stuff, but it's not a bad movie and well worth a look.

A young, beautiful Yvonne De Carlo plays Amantha Starr, the daughter of a plantation owner. She's away at college when she is asked to come home. Her father has taken ill and by the time she arrives, he has already passed away. Then comes the realization that Amantha is really half black, and instead of the daughter of a plantation owner, she will now be sold along with all of the other property to pay off back taxes. Hamish Bond (Clark Gable) buys her, but sets her up like a lady.

A 30 year old Sidney Poitier plays Rau-Ru, a freed slave and raised as Hamish's son. Rau- Ru was educated, so he is all too aware of the atrocities that are performed on black people by people like Hamish, himself, so there's a love/hate relationship going on there.

This DVD was released a little before Yvonne De Carlo death, and it's good that we get a chance to see her before she became well-known as Lilly Munster.

Mogambo
(1953)

The colorful remake!
Mogambo (1953)

Clark Gable plays Vic Marswell, an owner of a big game trapping company in Kenya. Eloise "Honey Bear" Kelly (played by Eva Gardner) is a globe trotting party girl who was stood-up by a visiting guest. It doesn't take long before they hit it off. Although Honey Bear is a city slicker, she eventually learns to like the various animals being sent to zoos.

Then a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Nordley show up for a gorilla documentary safari. Donald Nordley has an adverse reaction to some tsetse fly shots that he had, and drops into a fever. While Vic helps nursing him back to health, Linda Nordley (played by beautiful Grace Kelly) and Vic fall in love with each other to the disappointment of Honey Bear, who is sort of the third wheel.

If this movie sounds familiar, it's because it is a remake of the 1935 movie, "Red Dust" that Clark Gable also starred in. This remake was still very well done. It was directed by John Ford and filmed in color on location in many parts of Africa. This was another movie that was part of the "Clark Gable - The Signature Collection" box set. After seeing the younger Gable version, it's kind of cool to see him as the older, 52 year old, but still very handsome and built like a brick outhouse version.

Run Silent Run Deep
(1958)

Dive, dive, dive! :-)
Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

It's a clichéd submarine war drama, but it's also a good movie and well worth watching. Desk-bound in Hawaii, Commander Richardson (Clark Gable) had his submarine sunk at the infamous Bungo Straights and wants to get another crack at the Akikase destroyer. So he swings getting command of another sub with the top brass.

First Officer, Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster) is the Captain apparent, but has to babysit Richardson instead. His whole crew is antagonistic, especially when he drills them for days, getting them trained for a difficult bow shot of the Akikase. When Commander Richardson finally goes into the Bungo Straights, it's right out of Moby Dick, but you knew it was going to happen.

The crew is filled with great actors, including; Jack Warden, Don Rickles, Brad Dexter, and Nick Cravat who has been in many of Lancaster's movies.

The Painted Desert
(1931)

Gable's first talkie western.
The Painted Desert (1931)

Two wondering cowpokes, Cash Holbrook (William Farnum) and Jeff Cameron (J. Farrell MacDonald) ride up on an abandoned wagon, the victim of an Indian attack. Nobody is alive except for a baby. The two quickly come to the little fellow's rescue, but it doesn't take long before they're arguing over what to name him and where they should settle down. Guns are even drawn and Cash leaves in a huff with the baby.

These two become bitter rivals years later when young Bill Holbrook (William Boyd) and Jeff's daughter, Mary Ellen Cameron (Helen Twelvetrees) become adults. Cash sneaks his cattle onto Jeff's land to drink from his water and a gun battle almost ensues.

This is where a wondering stranger rides onto the property, Rance Brett (Clark Gable) who offers to be an extra gun for Jeff and Mary Ellen.

Meanwhile, Bill see's the ridiculousness of this feud. Bill has been trying to talk Cash into making peace with Jeff. He's spotted some ore deposits on Jeff's land and feels that together they could make a huge profit working together, while fighting each other, everyone looses.

This is an old western with old stage and silent era acting styles that come off more funny to watch with today's eyes. This is one of Clark Gable's first talkies, and you know he's the heavy in this movie and frankly is the most three dimensional character in the whole film. You know Gable has a big future ahead of him and he is the reason for watching this.

William Boyd, who later is known for TV's Hopalong Cassidy is your typical stiff blond hero in all this.

Laughing Sinners
(1931)

A good movie, but a bit preachy.
Laughing Sinners (1931)

This is your typical Joan Crawford vehicle, but she brings on a relative new actor into her movie, Clark Gable. This is before Gable gets typecast as the ultra-masculine and sexual gigolo (and many times bad guy). So, it's a refreshing portrayal.

Ivy 'Bunny' Stevens (Crawford) is a night club dancer and singer (with a heart of gold), but has it bad for her traveling salesman boyfriend, Howard Palmer (Neil Hamilton). When Howard dumps poor Ivy for his rich bosses daughter, Ivy takes it hard and is about to jump off of a bridge when a very friendly Salvation Army man, Carl Loomis (Clark Gable) stops her and gives her something else to live for.

Good-hearted Carl isn't preachy. He's fallen far from grace himself and can't judge anybody. When Ivy meets back up with Howard, who puts the moves on her, she regrets falling for his lines the next morning and doesn't feel worthy.

Carl, true to form, doesn't blame Ivy, telling her that if she wants to go back with Howard and that will make her happy, that he's all for that, but she shouldn't feel like she's not worthy to come back to the Salvation Army, because we all fall from grace sometimes. Naturally, Carl doesn't feel the same for Howard and gives him a nice sock on the jaw.

The Secret 6
(1931)

MGM's try at a classic gangster picture.
The Secret Six (1931)

This is MGM's attempt at a "B" gangster movie which was always Warner Brother's specialty. The film is well done thanks to Director, George W. Hill from a screenplay by Frances Marion but pretty much covers every cliché in the genre. MGM puts out a full cast, and includes the studio's relative new-comers, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow (their first movie together).

Richard Newton (Lewis Stone) is an alcoholic defense attorney who secretly is the brains behind the Central outfit run by Johnny Franks (a sleazy looking Ralph Bellamy). Johnny brings in some new talent, Louie "Slaughterhouse" Scorpio (Wallace Beery) who sledgehammers cattle and does pig-sticking for a living, so you know he's going to be pretty brutal in his new career goals.

Johnny is a bootlegger and owns a speak-easy, and has a gangster mall, Peaches (Marjorie Rambeau). You know that Scorpio is going to eventually take over the gang and Peaches too.

Two competing reporters, Hank Rogers (Johnny Mack Brown) and Carl Luckner (Gable) are out to grab the crime story for their papers, as well as vying for the attentions of cute cigarette girl, Anne Courtland (Harlow) who, in fact, is working for Scorpio. She slides up to Hank to influence his coverage of Slaughterhouse Scorpio's activities, but she slowly falls in love with the guy.

Unknown to anyone Carl is Operator 36, working undercover for the "Secret Six", a secret crime fighting organization of businessmen and political kingpins. When they talk to people, they need to be blindfolded to protect their identity. There was an actual Secret Six organization in Chicago that may have influenced the FBI.

Hank has got an angle to steal Scorpio's gun and using modern ballistic technology to prove that his gun was used in several murders, but Scorpio is hot on his trail. Anne testifies against Scorpio in court, but you know that Scorpio is going to beat the rap until the Secret Six get on him.

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