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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

Bullets or Ballots

1936 | United States | 82 min | More...
A still from Bullets or Ballots (1936)
C-: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
on Thu Apr 06, 2023

Edward G. Robinson plays a hard-nosed detective fired during a corruption probe. He punches out his former boss, the chief of police, and joins mobster Barton MacLane’s rackets. But MacLane’s menacing lieutenant, played by Humphrey Bogart, doesn’t buy it.

Second-billed Joan Blondell plays a small-time numbers game operator in an extraneous part. Frank McHugh offers comic relief as one of Blondell’s helpers.

Bogart shines as a trigger-happy gunsel. He’s all cool menace, conveying a simmering anger bubbling below the surface. His scenes with MacLane and Robinson crackle.

A competent Warner Bros. gangster picture. It precedes the superior The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse, which features Robinson and Bogart in similar roles. The story proves predictable, but Robinson carries things well, playing a super-tough guy who ain’t afraid of nobody, see?

Viewing History

    Watched on
    Thu Apr 06, 2023 via Watch TCM