Paper Bullets (1941)

69- 70 mins | Drama | 13 June 1941

Director:

Phil Rosen

Producer:

Maurice Kozinsky

Cinematographer:

Arthur Martinelli

Editor:

Martin G. Cohn

Production Designer:

Frank Dexter
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HISTORY

This film was also known as Gangs, Inc. , which was the title on the viewed print. The NYT reviewed it under the title Gangs, Inc. News items in trade publications report that Paper Bullets was the first film produced by the newly formed K-B Productions. According to a HR news item, Sara Berner was cast in a leading role, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. A HR new item also reports that Alan Ladd replaced Philip Trent in the "top romantic role"; Trent did play a smaller part in the film, ... More Less

This film was also known as Gangs, Inc. , which was the title on the viewed print. The NYT reviewed it under the title Gangs, Inc. News items in trade publications report that Paper Bullets was the first film produced by the newly formed K-B Productions. According to a HR news item, Sara Berner was cast in a leading role, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed. A HR new item also reports that Alan Ladd replaced Philip Trent in the "top romantic role"; Trent did play a smaller part in the film, however. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
14 Jun 1941.
---
Daily Variety
4 Jun 1941.
---
Film Daily
11 Jun 41
p. 5.
Harrison's Reports
21 Jun 41
p. 98.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 41
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Apr 41
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Apr 41
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 41
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald
7 Jun 1941.
---
New York Times
4 Aug 41
p. 16.
The Exhibitor
11 Jun 41
p. 764.
Variety
11 Jun 41
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd eng
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Vocal teacher for Linda Ware
SOURCES
SONGS
"I Know, I Know," words and music by Vic Knight, Johnny Lange and Lew Porter
"Blue Is the Day," words and music by Maurice Kozinsky, Johnny Lange and Lew Porter.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gangs, Inc.
Release Date:
13 June 1941
Production Date:
began 17 Aprilil 1941 at Talisman Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Producers Releasing Corp.
Copyright Date:
6 June 1941
Copyright Number:
LP10576
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
69- 70
Length(in feet):
6,390
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

At a playground, little Rita Adams is enjoying a reunion with her ex-convict father when he is suddenly shot to death. Rita is sent to an orphanage, where her closest playmates are Bob Elliot and Mickey Roma. Her father's prison record continues to haunt Rita as an adult, and she loses her factory job when she cannot get bonded. Rita's roommate, aspiring singer Donna Andrews, secretly calls Bob, now an aerospace engineer, hoping he can help his old friend find work. Bob has always loved Rita, but she is involved with Harold DeWitt, the dissolute son of the powerful Clarence DeWitt, who disapproves of their relationship. While they are driving one night, the intoxicated Harold hits and kills a pedestrian. Acting on the advice of his father's attorney, Bruce King, Harold persuades Rita to take the blame for the accident, promising to marry her and assuring her that she will not have to serve time. However, Rita is sent to prison, and there is visited by Mickey, who is now working in organized crime. Angry at the injustice of Rita's situation, Mickey breaks into King's office after Rita is released and steals Harold's file, which contains correspondence proving that Clarence paid King to make sure Rita went to prison. Embittered by this information, Rita dons a blonde wig and turns to armed robbery, becoming a wealthy and notorious criminal. Meanwhile, police chief Flynn is stung by accusations made by DeWitt, now head of a reform committee, that the police are soft on organized crime. Flynn tells detective Joe Kent that he has sent a new officer, Jimmy Kelly, to infiltrate ... +


At a playground, little Rita Adams is enjoying a reunion with her ex-convict father when he is suddenly shot to death. Rita is sent to an orphanage, where her closest playmates are Bob Elliot and Mickey Roma. Her father's prison record continues to haunt Rita as an adult, and she loses her factory job when she cannot get bonded. Rita's roommate, aspiring singer Donna Andrews, secretly calls Bob, now an aerospace engineer, hoping he can help his old friend find work. Bob has always loved Rita, but she is involved with Harold DeWitt, the dissolute son of the powerful Clarence DeWitt, who disapproves of their relationship. While they are driving one night, the intoxicated Harold hits and kills a pedestrian. Acting on the advice of his father's attorney, Bruce King, Harold persuades Rita to take the blame for the accident, promising to marry her and assuring her that she will not have to serve time. However, Rita is sent to prison, and there is visited by Mickey, who is now working in organized crime. Angry at the injustice of Rita's situation, Mickey breaks into King's office after Rita is released and steals Harold's file, which contains correspondence proving that Clarence paid King to make sure Rita went to prison. Embittered by this information, Rita dons a blonde wig and turns to armed robbery, becoming a wealthy and notorious criminal. Meanwhile, police chief Flynn is stung by accusations made by DeWitt, now head of a reform committee, that the police are soft on organized crime. Flynn tells detective Joe Kent that he has sent a new officer, Jimmy Kelly, to infiltrate the underworld, hoping to benefit from Jimmy's striking resemblance to mobster Billy Dugan. In his guise as Dugan, Jimmy collects protection money for racketeer Kurt Parrish, who complains that receipts are down because of DeWitt's reform efforts. Mickey, meanwhile, asks Rita to return the letters in Harold's file, but she has her own plan for revenge and buys radio time to speak out against DeWitt's hypocrisy. This wins her a meeting with Parrish and mobster Lou Wood, and after Rita negotiates a place for herself in the syndicate, she then visits DeWitt with photocopies of the letters. Spurning DeWitt's offer of money, Rita forces him to use his political influence for the syndicate's benefit, prompting Jimmy to observe that Parrish is using votes, or "paper bullets," to take control. Later, when Mickey learns that the real Dugan is in prison, Jimmy is abducted by Parrish's men, and the ensuing pursuit by the police ends in an accident. Joe persuades the newspapers to print the false information that Jimmy was killed in the crash, which devastates Donna, who has fallen in love with him. Rita then quits the syndicate to marry Bob, but immediately after the wedding she is arrested and indicted along with Parrish, Wood and DeWitt. During the trial, the courtroom spectators are shocked when Jimmy takes the stand, and all four defendants are convicted. As Bob comforts Rita and promises to wait for her, children play at the playground she built as a monument to the innocence of youth. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.