Devil's Mate (1933)

65 or 68 mins | Mystery | 20 August 1933

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HISTORY

According to a HR news item dated 3 Aug 1933, this film was retitled He Knew Too Much from Devil's Mate , its title during production. HH reviewed it under the new title, but because all other reviews and the copyright descriptions list the title as Devil's Mate , it seems likely that the original title was retained before release. According to a HR news item, this was Ben Verschleiser's first production for Monogram. Modern sources list Sam Flint, Henry Otto and Henry Hall as additional cast members. The film was remade by Monogram in 1941 under the title I Killed That Man , which was also directed by Phil Rosen and starred Ricardo Cortez and Joan ... More Less

According to a HR news item dated 3 Aug 1933, this film was retitled He Knew Too Much from Devil's Mate , its title during production. HH reviewed it under the new title, but because all other reviews and the copyright descriptions list the title as Devil's Mate , it seems likely that the original title was retained before release. According to a HR news item, this was Ben Verschleiser's first production for Monogram. Modern sources list Sam Flint, Henry Otto and Henry Hall as additional cast members. The film was remade by Monogram in 1941 under the title I Killed That Man , which was also directed by Phil Rosen and starred Ricardo Cortez and Joan Woodbury. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
23 Sep 33
p. 10.
Harrison's Reports
16 Sep 33
p. 146.
HF
17 Jun 33
p. 8.
HH
15 Jun 33
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 33
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jul 1933.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 33
p. 6.
Motion Picture Daily
25 Sep 33
p. 10.
Motion Picture Herald
12 Aug 33
p. 46.
New York Times
23 Sep 33
p. 11.
The Exhibitor
10 Sep 33
p. 2.
Variety
26 Sep 33
p. 20.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
He Knew Too Much
Release Date:
20 August 1933
Production Date:
mid June 1933
Copyright Claimant:
Monogram Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
18 September 1933
Copyright Number:
LP4276
Physical Properties:
Sound
Balsley & Phillips Recording System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
65 or 68
Length(in feet):
5,783
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Although he is silent during his march to the death chamber, convicted murderer Maloney, upon seeing the electric chair, announces to reporters and privileged onlookers that he will tell who put him up to the crime. As he is about to reveal the name of the secret underworld boss, who controls the liquor interests of the city, Maloney falls dead. Inspector O'Brien, the assistant district attorney, finds a small poisonous dart behind Maloney's ear and concludes that it could only have been shot by one of four men: McGee, a ward heeler and friend of the murdered man; Natural, a reporter for the Chronicle ; Parkhurst, a philanthropist, scholar and candidate for the prison board; or Clinton, a friend of Parkhurst. When a cigarette holder is found on McGee after he admits that he does not smoke, he is arrested and thought to have blown the dart through the holder. After Natural does not show up at the Chronicle office, reporter Nancy Weaver is sent to find him. She interviews Parkhurst, who takes her to a speakeasy, and she becomes convinced that McGee is not guilty. When she confronts O'Brien, they immediately are attracted to one another as they kid each other with sarcasm, and he gives her permission to carry on her own investigation. Nancy talks with Maloney's sweetheart Gwen, who reveals that the night before his arrest, he frantically tried to call a telephone number ending with "13-13," but she cannot remember the prefix. Although the clue leads to Parkhurst, he has an explanation for O'Brien. Thinking that she will be killed for giving Nancy the tip, ... +


Although he is silent during his march to the death chamber, convicted murderer Maloney, upon seeing the electric chair, announces to reporters and privileged onlookers that he will tell who put him up to the crime. As he is about to reveal the name of the secret underworld boss, who controls the liquor interests of the city, Maloney falls dead. Inspector O'Brien, the assistant district attorney, finds a small poisonous dart behind Maloney's ear and concludes that it could only have been shot by one of four men: McGee, a ward heeler and friend of the murdered man; Natural, a reporter for the Chronicle ; Parkhurst, a philanthropist, scholar and candidate for the prison board; or Clinton, a friend of Parkhurst. When a cigarette holder is found on McGee after he admits that he does not smoke, he is arrested and thought to have blown the dart through the holder. After Natural does not show up at the Chronicle office, reporter Nancy Weaver is sent to find him. She interviews Parkhurst, who takes her to a speakeasy, and she becomes convinced that McGee is not guilty. When she confronts O'Brien, they immediately are attracted to one another as they kid each other with sarcasm, and he gives her permission to carry on her own investigation. Nancy talks with Maloney's sweetheart Gwen, who reveals that the night before his arrest, he frantically tried to call a telephone number ending with "13-13," but she cannot remember the prefix. Although the clue leads to Parkhurst, he has an explanation for O'Brien. Thinking that she will be killed for giving Nancy the tip, Gwen asks Clinton for money to leave town. As they are about to leave for the bank, Gwen honks the horn and then falls over dead. O'Brien finds that she died from the same poison that killed Maloney and arrests Clinton for both murders. Nancy, however, continues to investigate Parkhurst. While she is visiting him, his henchman calls to warn that Nancy knows too much. O'Brien, however, has tapped Parkhurst's line, and he realizes from the conversation that Nancy is there and is in danger. She is kidnapped and about to be killed with another poison dart, when O'Brien rescues her and apprehends Parkhurst. Later, he and Nancy marry. +

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.