The Big Shakedown (1934)

59 or 64 mins | Drama | 6 January 1934

Cinematographer:

Sid Hickox

Editor:

Thomas Richards

Production Designer:

John Hughes

Production Company:

First National Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

Sam Engels and Niven Busch's story was entitled "Cut Rate." The film's working title was The Shakedown ... More Less

Sam Engels and Niven Busch's story was entitled "Cut Rate." The film's working title was The Shakedown . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
9 Feb 34
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 33
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
9 Feb 34
p. 18.
Motion Picture Herald
17 Feb 34
p. 38.
New York Times
12 Feb 34
p. 38.
Variety
13 Feb 34
p. 14.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTOR
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Story
Story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Vitaphone Orch cond
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Shakedown
Release Date:
6 January 1934
Copyright Claimant:
First National Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
30 December 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4372
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
59 or 64
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

New Yorkers Norma Nelson and Jimmy Morrell plan to get married just as soon as their neighborhood drugstore starts to make money. The opportunity presents itself one day when former bootlegger Dutch Barnes stops in for a headache powder. Jimmy is out of the brand Dutch requests, but offers to make up one just like it. On learning that Jimmy can make up duplicates of everything in the store for less money, Dutch offers Jimmy a job manufacturing counterfeit toothpaste. Although he doesn't like the idea, Jimmy decides there is no real harm in it and agrees. Dutch branches out into cosmetics and once again Jimmy participates despite Norma's disapproval. Jimmy balks, however, when Dutch asks him to make a popular antiseptic, explaining that he is unable to get the essential ingredient. Dutch offers him a bonus, which enables Jimmy to marry Norma, and he reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, Dutch's former girl friend, Lily Duran, jealous over his attentions to another woman, gives evidence against him, and the antiseptic company prosecutes. Sheffner, the chemist who invented the formula, makes a personal visit to Jimmy to warn him, and Jimmy agrees to sever his association with Dutch. To prevent this, Dutch makes sure that Jimmy is involved in Lily's murder. Now that there is no witness, the company is forced to drop their lawsuit. With this new hold on Jimmy, Dutch forces him to make fake digitalis. Norma is given some during childbirth and loses her baby. Vengefully, Jimmy goes after Dutch, but Sheffner gets there before him. He shoots Dutch, who falls into a vat of hydrochloric acid. Jimmy ... +


New Yorkers Norma Nelson and Jimmy Morrell plan to get married just as soon as their neighborhood drugstore starts to make money. The opportunity presents itself one day when former bootlegger Dutch Barnes stops in for a headache powder. Jimmy is out of the brand Dutch requests, but offers to make up one just like it. On learning that Jimmy can make up duplicates of everything in the store for less money, Dutch offers Jimmy a job manufacturing counterfeit toothpaste. Although he doesn't like the idea, Jimmy decides there is no real harm in it and agrees. Dutch branches out into cosmetics and once again Jimmy participates despite Norma's disapproval. Jimmy balks, however, when Dutch asks him to make a popular antiseptic, explaining that he is unable to get the essential ingredient. Dutch offers him a bonus, which enables Jimmy to marry Norma, and he reluctantly agrees. Meanwhile, Dutch's former girl friend, Lily Duran, jealous over his attentions to another woman, gives evidence against him, and the antiseptic company prosecutes. Sheffner, the chemist who invented the formula, makes a personal visit to Jimmy to warn him, and Jimmy agrees to sever his association with Dutch. To prevent this, Dutch makes sure that Jimmy is involved in Lily's murder. Now that there is no witness, the company is forced to drop their lawsuit. With this new hold on Jimmy, Dutch forces him to make fake digitalis. Norma is given some during childbirth and loses her baby. Vengefully, Jimmy goes after Dutch, but Sheffner gets there before him. He shoots Dutch, who falls into a vat of hydrochloric acid. Jimmy tells everything to the district attorney. Dutch's men go to prison, Jimmy is exonerated, and he and Norma go back to running a simple neighborhood drug store. +

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.