5.9/10
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4 user 4 critic

The Fire Raisers (1934)

Jim Bronton is an insurance investigator, but he's unhappy with his work and gets involved with a gang of arsonists. His conscience is troubling him ...

Director:

Michael Powell

Writers:

Jerome Jackson (screenplay), Jerome Jackson (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Leslie Banks ... Jim Bronton
Anne Grey ... Arden Brent
Carol Goodner ... Helen Vaughan
Frank Cellier ... Brent
Francis L. Sullivan ... Stedding
Lawrence Anderson ... Twist
Harry Caine Harry Caine ... Bates
George Merritt ... Sonners
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Storyline

Jim Bronton is an insurance investigator, but he's unhappy with his work and gets involved with a gang of arsonists. His conscience is troubling him ... Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 January 1934 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Fogos Misteriosos See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP12,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (British Acoustic Film Full Range Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leslie Banks plays most of his role in right profile due to a wound he received to the left side of his face while serving in the Essex Regiment in the First World War. See more »

Quotes

Brent: [of Jim Bronton] Charles Bronton was my best friend. Respected him. But this young pup was always a flyaway sort. Joined the army when he was 15. What can you expect? Good thing Charles is dead...
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User Reviews

 
Greed is fun, but is it good for you?
5 February 2002 | by Neil-117See all my reviews

Apparently a fire raiser is insurance jargon for an arsonist engaged in insurance fraud. And there are plenty of fire raisers from all levels of society in this movie which combines action/adventure with an interesting moral dimension.

Leslie Banks plays a slick insurance investigator who walks both sides of the legal line to make fast bucks in a corrupt industry. Much of the movie is spent in glamorous portrayal of his unscrupulous business activities and trendy lifestyle. One of the main strengths is the fast moving, cynical banter between the characters which creates a sense of their decadent lifestyles lived out against a background of unrestrained, completely amoral capitalism. No doubt this was a powerful image in the midst of the Great Depression when this movie was made.

But so much time is spent tantalizing us with the fruits of dirty business deals that it comes as a sudden surprise near the end of the movie to discover that there is a moral dimension. Because the ground has not been prepared, the main character's late struggles with his conscience may seem a little unconvincing.

For social history enthusiasts, there are some quaint historical shots of the London Fire Brigade and the British horse racing industry in action during the 1930s to lend some authenticity to this morality play.


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