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Don't Turn 'em Loose (1936)

Approved | | Action, Crime, Drama | 18 September 1936 (USA)
A conscientious attorney who is a member of the State Parole Board, finds his own son, using an alias, up for parole and makes the decision to cast the approving vote. This turns out to ... See full summary »


Benjamin Stoloff (as Ben Stoloff)


Harry Segall (screen play), Thomas Walsh (suggested by story: "Homecoming") (as Tom Walsh) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Lewis Stone ... John Webster
James Gleason ... Detective Daniels
Bruce Cabot ... Robert Webster - Alias Bat Williams
Louise Latimer ... Letty Graves
Betty Grable ... Mildred Webster
Grace Bradley ... Grace Forbes
Nella Walker ... Helen Webster
Frank M. Thomas ... Attorney Pierce
Harry Jans Harry Jans ... Vic - Henchman
John Arledge ... Walter Clifford
Frank Jenks ... Pete - Henchman
Maxine Jennings ... Nellie - Phoney Mrs. Williams
Gordon Jones ... Joe Graves
Jack Randall ... Al - Henchman (as Addison Randall)


A conscientious attorney who is a member of the State Parole Board, finds his own son, using an alias, up for parole and makes the decision to cast the approving vote. This turns out to cause many problems for the family while on vacation, and the father has to make another hard decision. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Free as the birds and smooth as a snake, Bat Roberts is on parole. See more »


Action | Crime | Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 September 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Geborene Verbrecher See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Detective Daniels: You're better than Houdini ever was.
See more »


Referenced in The Public Eye (1992) See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

Taut Moral Crime Drama...
31 August 2014 | by xerses13See all my reviews

This could/should have been a break-out role for Bruce Cabot (Robert Webster/Bat Williams, Criminal) just like the PUBLIC ENEMY (1931) was for James Cagney. Cabot though already had his chance in KING KONG (1933) and by 1936 had firmly established himself as a dependable character actor. In this film he does show he had more to offer and was particularly effective as a murderous sociopath.

Webster/Williams has two (2) lives, as Webster respected engineer and Son of John Webster (Lewis Stone) pillar of society. Then as Williams a criminal mastermind who uses the parole system to duck in and out of prison at his convenience. John Webster is finally confronted by the truth just prior to his Daughters Wedding, Mildred Webster (Betty Grable). Webster/Williams once more gets off, black-mailing his Father now on the Parole Board, though trying for one more BIG SCORE meets his undoing.

At 65" the film moves right along at a quick pace and would not disgrace the efforts over at WARNER BROTHERS. RKO being very efficient and turning out these programmers needed in filling out its release schedule and theater chain. Also to cover expenses for such flops as MARY OF Scotland. A film that cemented Katherine Hepburn for being 'Box Office Poison' through the balance of the 1930s.

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