The Info List - The Big Shakedown

The Big Shakedown
The Big Shakedown
is a 1934 American Pre-Code
drama film starring Charles Farrell
Charles Farrell
and Bette Davis, and directed by John Francis Dillon. The screenplay is based on the story "Cut Rate" by Niven Busch and Samuel G. Engel. The film also stars Ricardo Cortez
Ricardo Cortez
and Glenda Farrell and is director John Francis Dillon's final film.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Reception 4 References 5 External links

Plot[edit] Jimmy Morrell (Charles Farrell) and Norma Nelson (Bette Davis) who plan to wed as soon as their neighborhood pharmacy begins to show a profit. The opportunity arises when former bootlegger Dutch Barnes (Ricardo Cortez) offers Jimmy a job duplicating name brand toothpaste and cosmetics that can be made cheaply and then sold in the bottles and jars of reputable pharmaceutical companies at regular prices. When Dutch asks him to copy the formula for a popular brand of antiseptic, Jimmy refuses, claiming he's unable to get a key ingredient, but when Dutch offers him a bonus hefty enough to allow Jimmy to marry Norma, he agrees. Dutch's ex-girlfriend Lily Duran (Glenda Farrell) jealous over his attentions to another woman, notifies the antiseptic company about the deception, and is murdered by Dutch. Without their key witness, the company is forced to drop their lawsuit against Jimmy. Now beholden to Dutch, he is forced to make fake digitalis drug. Norma is given some of the drug during childbirth and prompting her to lose the baby. Jimmy seeks vengeance against Dutch, but before he can achieve his goal Sheffner, who formulated the antiseptic Jimmy manufactured, shoots Dutch. Jimmy confesses everything to the district attorney and is exonerated, allowing him and Norma to return to life as they once knew it. Cast[edit]

Charles Farrell
Charles Farrell
as Jimmy Morrell Bette Davis
Bette Davis
as Norma Nelson Ricardo Cortez
Ricardo Cortez
as Dutch Barnes Glenda Farrell
Glenda Farrell
as Lily Duran Allen Jenkins
Allen Jenkins
as Lefty Henry O'Neill
Henry O'Neill
as Sheffner Dewey Robinson as Slim John Wray as Higgins

Reception[edit] The New York Times
New York Times
said, "[The picture's] particular virtue . . . is that it is specific and believable in its description of the felonious behavior involved in the racket. Thus it maintains a moderate sum of interest and excitement in the face of a routine assortment of gang-film impedimenta."[1] TV Guide
TV Guide
calls it an "overblown crime melodrama" and adds, "the material stretches believability at every plot turn."[2] References[edit]

^ New York Times
New York Times
review ^ TV Guide
TV Guide

External links[edit]

The Big Shakedown
The Big Shakedown
at the TCM Movie Database The Big Shakedown
The Big Shakedown
on IMDb

v t e

Films directed by John Francis Dillon


The Key to Yesterday (1914) His taking Ways (uncredited) (1914) Cats, Cash and a Cook Book (1915) Curing Father (1915) Deserted at the Auto (1915) One to the Minute (1915) Almost a Widow (1915) Johnny the Barber (1915) Anita's Butterfly (1915) Two Hearts and a Thief (1915) Kiddus, Kids and Kiddo (1915) Getting in Wrong (1916) Some Night (1916) Bungling Bill's Burglar (1916) Walk This Way (1916) Paddy's Political Dream (1916) Igorrotes, Crocodiles, and a Hat Box (1916) Heaven Will Protect a Woiking Goil (1916) Too Much Married (1916) Love Dynamite and Baseballs (1916) More Truth Than Poetry (1916) Bungling Bill's Peeping Ways (1916) Search Me! (1916) The Lion Hearted Chief (1916) Bungling Bill, Detective (1916) Knocking Out Knockout Kelly (1916) A Mix-Up in Photos (1916) Slipping It Over on Father (1916) Bungling Bill, Doctor (1916) A Mixup at Rudolph's (1916) Chinatown Villains (1916) National Nuts (1916) When Papa Died (1916) Nailing on the Lid (1916) His Blowout (1916) Delinquent Bridegrooms (1916) The Iron Mitt (1916) Just for a Kid (1916) Hired and Fired (1916) A Deep Sea Liar (1916) For Ten Thousand Bucks (1916) Bungling Bill's Dress Suit (1916)


Suds (1920) The Right of Way (1920) Blackbirds (1920) The Plaything of Broadway (1921) Children of the Night (1921) The Roof Tree (1921) Gleam O'Dawn (1922) The Yellow Stain (1922) The Cub Reporter (1922) Calvert's Valley (1922) Man Wanted (1922) The Broken Violin (1923) The Self-Made Wife (1923) The Huntress (1923) Flaming Youth (1923) Lilies of the Field (1924) The Perfect Flapper
The Perfect Flapper
(1924) Flirting with Love (1924) If I Marry Again (1925) One Way Street (1925) Chickie (1925) The Half-Way Girl
The Half-Way Girl
(1925) We Moderns
We Moderns
(1925) Too Much Money (1926) Don Juan's Three Nights
Don Juan's Three Nights
(1926) Midnight Lovers (1926) Love's Blindness (1926) The Sea Tiger
The Sea Tiger
(1927) The Prince of Headwaiters
The Prince of Headwaiters
(1927) Smile, Brother, Smile (1927) The Crystal Cup (1927) Man Crazy (1927) The Noose (1928) The Heart of a Follies Girl (1928) Out of the Ruins (1928) Scarlet Seas
Scarlet Seas
(1928) Children of the Ritz
Children of the Ritz
(1929) Careers (1929) Fast Life (1929) Sally (1929)


Spring Is Here (1930)(uncredited) (1930) Bride of the Regiment (1930) The Girl of the Golden West (1930) One Night at Susie's
One Night at Susie's
(1930) Kismet (1930) Millie (1931) The Finger Points
The Finger Points
(1931) The Reckless Hour (1931) The Pagan Lady
The Pagan Lady
(1931) Behind the Mask (1932) The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood
The Cohens and Kellys in Hollywood
(1932) Man About Town (1932) Call Her Savage
Call Her Savage
(1932) Humanity (1933) 'Tis Spring (1933) The Big Shak