The Ruling Voice (1931)

76 mins | Drama | 31 October 1931

Director:

Rowland V. Lee

Cinematographer:

Sol Polito

Editor:

George Amy

Production Designer:

Jack Okey

Production Company:

First National Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The working title of the film was Upper Underworld. ...

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The working title of the film was Upper Underworld.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Film Daily
10 Mar 1931
p. 7
Film Daily
8 Nov 1931
p. 10
Hollywood Reporter
30 Apr 1931
p. 3
International Photographer
1 Dec 1931
p. 30
Motion Picture Herald
14 Nov 1931
p. 42
New York Times
6 Nov 1931
p. 29
Variety
10 Nov 1931
p. 15
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Upper Underworld
Release Date:
31 October 1931
Production Date:
began early Mar 1931
Copyright Info
Claimant
Date
Copyright Number
First National Pictures, Inc.
16 October 1931
LP2568
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
76
Country:
United States
SYNOPSIS

Because of a racketeering group known as The System, which demands protection money from grocery store owners, food prices are so high that many people cannot afford to eat. The head of The System is Jack Bannister, who has grown rich enough from his illegal activities to send his daughter Gloria to Europe for her schooling. When a committee of businessmen is formed to break Bannister's power, he blackmails one of them, Andrew Gregory, into acting as his spy. Unable to betray the committee, Gregory commits suicide. When Gloria returns from Europe, she tells her father that she is engaged to Dick Cheney, who is from a socially respectable but impoverished family. Gloria is worried that Dick's family will not think she is good enough for him, so she quizzes Bannister about his business. He decides to tell her the truth. She is horribly upset and, refusing to live on money earned illegally, insists she will get a job. Realizing he cannot change her mind, Bannister asks Mary Stanton, a socialite who owes him a favor, to hire Gloria as a French tutor for her small son, without revealing his part in the matter. Mary, who is secretly working for the committee, agrees. Meanwhile, The System goes to war with the Consolidated Milk Company after they refuse to pay protection money. Consolidated threatens to kidnap Gloria if Bannister does not stop the war, but the conflict has gone too far for one man to control. When Gloria learns what is happening from Mary, she brings Mary and her son Malcolm to the Bannisters for protection. Bannister finally stops the war ...

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Because of a racketeering group known as The System, which demands protection money from grocery store owners, food prices are so high that many people cannot afford to eat. The head of The System is Jack Bannister, who has grown rich enough from his illegal activities to send his daughter Gloria to Europe for her schooling. When a committee of businessmen is formed to break Bannister's power, he blackmails one of them, Andrew Gregory, into acting as his spy. Unable to betray the committee, Gregory commits suicide. When Gloria returns from Europe, she tells her father that she is engaged to Dick Cheney, who is from a socially respectable but impoverished family. Gloria is worried that Dick's family will not think she is good enough for him, so she quizzes Bannister about his business. He decides to tell her the truth. She is horribly upset and, refusing to live on money earned illegally, insists she will get a job. Realizing he cannot change her mind, Bannister asks Mary Stanton, a socialite who owes him a favor, to hire Gloria as a French tutor for her small son, without revealing his part in the matter. Mary, who is secretly working for the committee, agrees. Meanwhile, The System goes to war with the Consolidated Milk Company after they refuse to pay protection money. Consolidated threatens to kidnap Gloria if Bannister does not stop the war, but the conflict has gone too far for one man to control. When Gloria learns what is happening from Mary, she brings Mary and her son Malcolm to the Bannisters for protection. Bannister finally stops the war when he threatens to turn The System's books over to the district attorney. Snead, Bannister's second in command, decides to eliminate his boss. He sends Ed Bailey, a former produce company owner who had been broken by Bannister to deliver a message. After Bailey, whose son had been killed by members of The System, recognizes Bannister's voice, they struggle for a gun and Bannister is killed. With Bannister gone, The System is smashed and Snead is sent to prison.

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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.