Bad Guy (1937) Poster

(1937)

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6/10
all about electricty. and a crook gets in and out of prison.
ksf-211 January 2019
Very seldom shown "Bad Guy".... has only 56 votes on imdb so far. Bruce Cabot and Ed Norris are Lucky and Steve, electric linemen. Right from the start, Lucky is complaining about what life has handed him, and how he's ready to take whatever he can from life. When a card game setup goes wrong, Lucky ends up in the slammer, on death row. A couple miracles happen, and before you know it, he's bounced for heroic actions. Before he goes, he has a discussion with the warden about destiny... is everything pre-planned or do we make our own path? Pretty deep for a con-man. But... getting a job after prison isn't easy. Lucky could fall back into his old ways, in spite of getting a second chance. Also in here is Virginia Grey; she had started in films as a ten year old. and was in the awesome film The Women at 22 ! and vaudeville entertainer Cliff Edwards is in here as Hi-Line, fellow electrician. Try to find him playing the ukulele in one of his films -- it's great! This film has pretty good acting and a pretty good story. it's also a documentary on how electricity works and how dangerous it can be; they keep giving safety tips, like don't use wire to fly your kite. (did kids really do that??) always wear your gloves and your climbing strap. stay away from live wires. They spend a LOT of time talking about the high voltage electricity, but it does play a large part of the story. Picture quality is pretty rough... the the picture flashes repeatedly through the film. It's really noticed in the first half, but not so much in the second half. Directed by Ed Cahn... made a bunch of B horror films. It's not bad.
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5/10
Not a Bad Movie
boblipton10 January 2019
Bruce Cabot winds up in prison, gets paroled, plays rough as a line man in this MGM programmer.

The direction by Edward Cahn is mostly adequate visually, but weak in terms of line reading -- Virginia Grey, as the girl Cabot and his brother, Edward Norris both want is poor, seemingly more interested in her enunciation than her feelings. It also appears that the human side of the story was so short that they had to cut in half a reel or more of Norris attending a lecture on high voltage, so the audience can be fascinated by images of electricity ladders. Because I saw such things in grade school, I wasn't.

There's a potentially interesting character study of a guy who actually doesn't feel any fear, but the powers-that-be were either incapable of or unwilling to offer such a story. Instead it turns into a straight melodrama, diverting for an hour, but not much more.
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8/10
Good Bad Guy
telegonus26 August 2002
The movies loved rogues in the old days. Whores with hearts of gold (though they couldn't call them that,--whores I mean), con men who were kind to widows and orphans, gangsters who were really robin hoods in fedoras and pin-striped suits. This was especially true in the economic hard times of the Depression. One saw fewer of such films after the war. Nowadays things are quite different, and the formula would seem ridiculously old-fashioned and corny. Maybe the rise of mass education had something to do with it. As people have become more middle class they are increasingly concerned about "respectability". In the days when most people worked with their hands or lived off the land the good bad guy thing was acceptable. But enough sociological musing. In this film the good bad guy is Bruce Cabot, who could play really bad guys quite well also, which gives his character added ambiguity. The setting is New York, the work is power lineman. Cabot is credible in both his good and bad aspects, which makes his nice guy attributes more effective than had his role been played by, say, Don Ameche. Director Eddie Cahn, a master of the short subject, directs this one for speed and beauty. It has plenty of both. The backlot cityscapes are something to see.
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6/10
Bad guy, strange movie
marcslope11 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
An MGM melodrama-romance-documentary B, this one packs a little of everything into its 70 minutes or so. The bad guy of the title is Bruce Cabot, a lineman who gets mixed up in a gambling-related murder, is sentenced to the chair, gets out of it, and returns to his unofficial brother (Edward Norris, who's OK), upon which they both romance Virginia Grey. Cabot, who always had an easy machismo and is very well photographed here, adds some needed ambiguity: Is he really a bad guy? A good guy gone wrong? Just a good guy? Turns out he's a bad guy, so you're meant to be happy at his final fate, but it's hard to. The story's slim, so Edward Cahn pads it out with way too much footage of electrical linemen, including Norris and Cliff Edwards attending an electrical seminar/demonstration. A so-so B all in all, but there's real chemistry between Grey and Cabot (if not Grey and Norris), and a couple of good speeches--one by Cabot romancing Grey, one by Norris sussing out his complicated feelings about Cabot--lift it a bit above the ordinary.
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