Bad Guy (1937)

64-69 mins | Drama | 27 August 1937

Director:

Edward L. Cahn

Producer:

Tom Reed

Cinematographer:

Lester White

Editor:

Ben Lewis

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
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HISTORY

According to Var and SAB, the title of the original story was "High Voltage." The working title of the film was Black Lightning. Although MPD reviewed the film as Bad Boy, that title was never used elsewhere. There is no explanation given within the story of why brothers Steve and Lucky have different surnames. ...

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According to Var and SAB, the title of the original story was "High Voltage." The working title of the film was Black Lightning. Although MPD reviewed the film as Bad Boy, that title was never used elsewhere. There is no explanation given within the story of why brothers Steve and Lucky have different surnames.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28-Aug-37
---
Daily Variety
20 Aug 1937
p. 3
Film Daily
26 Aug 1937
p. 11
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jul 1937
p. 6
Hollywood Reporter
20 Aug 1937
p. 3
Motion Picture Daily
24 Aug 1937
p. 6
Motion Picture Herald
28 Aug 1937
pp. 49-50
Motion Picture Herald
18 Sep 1937
p. 53
New York Times
26 Aug 1937
p. 25
Variety
1 Sep 1937
p. 22
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Dick Rich
Baldwin Cook
Polly Vann
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Edward Cahn
Dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Prod
WRITERS
Kathleen Shepherd
Story
Story
Contr to trmt
Contr to trmt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Bad Boy
Black Lightning
Release Date:
27 August 1937
Production Date:
early Jul--17 Aug 1937
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
25 August 1937
LP7371
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
64-69
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
PCA No:
3627
Passed by NBR:
Yes
SYNOPSIS

Hard-living linesmen "Lucky" Walden decides to get his money back from some crooked gamblers despite warnings from his loyal brother, Steve Carroll. Because they refuse to return the money plus "interest," Lucky hits one of them with a wrench, then hides the body in the bathroom when some other gamblers arrive. They turn out to be policemen, however, and find the man dead. Lucky is then convicted of murder and sentenced to death, despite his plea of self-defense. While Lucky awaits execution, Steve searches for Ned Burns, a missing witness to the incident whom Lucky claimed would corroborate his story. When Steve receives a tip and finds Burns, he backs up Lucky's story, convincing the governor to commute the sentence to life in prison, even though the police suspect that Burns is lying. Later, after Lucky heroically tries to save the life of a fellow prisoner burned by high voltage wires, the warden helps him get a parole. After assisting the power company with some daring emergency work, Lucky gets a job as a linesman again, and resumes his old, rule-breaking ways. Steve, who is in love with his girl Kitty, plans to marry her, unaware that she and Lucky are also attracted to each other. After Lucky slugs a man foolishly showing children how to fly a kite under power lines, he is picked up for violating parole and learns that Burns has told the truth about the murder. When Steve hears Lucky's story about the re-arrest, however, he doesn't know that the real cause is the slugging. Lucky then convinces Steve to rig the electricity in the elevator to the ...

More Less

Hard-living linesmen "Lucky" Walden decides to get his money back from some crooked gamblers despite warnings from his loyal brother, Steve Carroll. Because they refuse to return the money plus "interest," Lucky hits one of them with a wrench, then hides the body in the bathroom when some other gamblers arrive. They turn out to be policemen, however, and find the man dead. Lucky is then convicted of murder and sentenced to death, despite his plea of self-defense. While Lucky awaits execution, Steve searches for Ned Burns, a missing witness to the incident whom Lucky claimed would corroborate his story. When Steve receives a tip and finds Burns, he backs up Lucky's story, convincing the governor to commute the sentence to life in prison, even though the police suspect that Burns is lying. Later, after Lucky heroically tries to save the life of a fellow prisoner burned by high voltage wires, the warden helps him get a parole. After assisting the power company with some daring emergency work, Lucky gets a job as a linesman again, and resumes his old, rule-breaking ways. Steve, who is in love with his girl Kitty, plans to marry her, unaware that she and Lucky are also attracted to each other. After Lucky slugs a man foolishly showing children how to fly a kite under power lines, he is picked up for violating parole and learns that Burns has told the truth about the murder. When Steve hears Lucky's story about the re-arrest, however, he doesn't know that the real cause is the slugging. Lucky then convinces Steve to rig the electricity in the elevator to the prison's bars so that he can "burn" his way out of jail. Though Steve doesn't want to run away, Lucky convinces him to accompany him after he calls Kitty. When policeman Dan Gray confronts Kitty with the truth about Lucky's double dealings, she tells him to look for them at the power station. There, as the police go after Lucky, Steve tries to convince him to turn himself in, but Lucky knocks him unconscious before climbing the high wires. He is killed when workmen turn the electricity on, and Steve is arrested for helping Lucky break jail. Gray then summons Kitty to the police station to tell Steve what Lucky really was like so that after his short jail sentence he will be free to start a new life.

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

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