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The Big Shakedown

1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

“5 brilliant stars to thrill you! Charles Farrell! Bette Davis! Ricardo Cortez! Glenda Farrell! And Allen Jenkins!” This pre-code crime picture’s original trailer promised – and it delivers. One of Warner Bros.’ patented ‘ripped from the headlines’ social dramas, the tabloid tale promised (in the aforementioned trailer) to “take you behind the counters of America’s drug stores where love, hope and fear rub shoulders in an endless parade of real-life drama.” Druggist Jimmy Morell's (Charles Farrell) business is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy when racketeer Dutch Barnes (Ricardo Cortez) offers a proposal to Morell: concoct and sell counterfeit copies of brand name drugs. But when a jealous moll and an angry chemist get thrown into the mix, the drug deal endangers the life of Morell's pregnant bride, Norma (Davis).

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Charles Farrell, Bette Davis, Ricardo Cortez, Glenda Farrell, Allen Jenkins
  • Directors: John Francis Dillon
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B009GJVLG8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,462 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bexze on May 11, 2015
Format: DVD
Plot Synopsis, including some SPOILERS
The simple story of a young chemist, who has set up in business in a drugstore with his best gal. He gets mixed up with gangsters who have him mix counterfeit toothpaste, cosmetics and later medicines which they package as the brand name products and strongarm local shopkeepers into stocking. The chemist is able to pay off his drugstore and marry his girlfriend on his ill gotten gains. He ineffectually refuses to continue working for the gang but is coerced into returning after a beating and a threat to his young wife.

Next, the gangster’s girlfriend, furious over being dumped by her two-timing man, contacts the manufacturer of a bestselling antiseptic that the gang has been counterfeiting. A lawsuit is filed, and the police get involved. Scheduled to testify, and under police protection, the star witness is gunned down outside her apartment. The young chemist, in the car with the hit man, struggles for the gun but is knocked unconscious.

Later, his wife’s delivery of their first child goes awry and the medication that can save her is an ineffectual knockoff supplied by the crooked gangsters. Realizing that the gang is responsible for the death of their child, the chemist goes after the gangster, shooting him in his place of business. The body falls into a vat of acid.

Although the hoodlums end up on the chain gang breaking rocks, the chemist and his wife are at liberty now to live a normal all American life.
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