6.7/10
73
4 user 2 critic

Dangerous to Know (1938)

A gangster tries to fix things so that he can marry a rich society woman.

Director:

Robert Florey
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anna May Wong ... Madame Lan Ying
Akim Tamiroff ... Stephan Recka
Gail Patrick ... Margaret Van Case
Lloyd Nolan ... Inspector Brandon
Harvey Stephens ... Philip Easton
Anthony Quinn ... Nicholas 'Nicki' Kusnoff
Roscoe Karns ... Duncan
Porter Hall ... Mayor Bradley
Barlowe Borland ... James - Recka's Butler
Hedda Hopper ... Mrs. Emily Carson
Hugh Sothern ... Harvey Gregson
Edward Pawley ... John Rance
Ellen Drew ... Secretary (as Terry Ray)
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Storyline

Racketeer Steve Recka, art patron and political power-maker, rules his town and Madame Lan Ying, his beautiful Oriental friend and hostess (read: mistress), with an iron hand. He meets Margaret Van Kase, a socialite not impressed by his power nor his wealth, having no money herself, and Steve makes frantic efforts to win her and turns away from the loyal Lin Yang. Margaret ignores him as she plans to wed Philip Easton, a penniless bond salesman. The furious Recka, poses as a friend to Easton, while planning to ruin him. His henchmen kidnap Easton when he is carrying a large assignment of bonds, and he is branded as a runaway thief. The only doubters are Margaret and Police Inspector Brandon, who knows Recka's methods and suspects foul play. Easton is found in an abandoned house and arrested as the gangsters have taken the bonds and tipped the police where to find him. Recka offers to clear Easton if Margaret will become his bride and, while her hatred for Recka is intense, her love ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

No woman ever survived his love!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 June 1938 (Denmark) See more »

Also Known As:

Gef√§hrliche Mitwisser See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The original play On the Spot premiered on Broadway at the Forrest Theatre on October 29, 1930, and ran for 167 performances. Anna May Wong starred (she reprises her role in the film), and the cast included Glenda Farrell, Arthur Vinton and Crane Wilbur. See more »

Goofs

Stephen Recka comes out of his home office late in the film, meeting Kusnoff in the front hall. Recka lets the door slam shut behind him, and the wall to the left wobbles visibly, revealing that it's just a piece of set. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing Florey-Wallace-Wong
10 October 2008 | by JohnHowardReidSee all my reviews

I had high expectations for Dangerous To Know (released 11 March 1938). With a screenplay co-written by Horace McCoy, based on an Edgar Wallace play, and directed by the usually reliable Robert Florey, I anticipated a real treat. Unfortunately, the writers have obviously built up the central role, here played by hammily over-accented Akim Tamiroff. Worse still, Florey has chosen to set this "B" movie up as a TV drama, persistently using a staggering number of close-ups to little effect. A close-up is even squandered on Hedda Hopper, would you believe? This procedure would be more tolerable if Ted Sparkuhl's photography shone with velvety noir lighting. Alas, Sparkuhl supplies little atmosphere and doesn't flatter the players at all. Villainous Akim Tamiroff doesn't look like a ruthless gangster so much as a comically dwarfish little man with an expensive but highly incompetent tailor, while the normally super-exotic Miss Wong appears as neither a sinuous nor beautiful siren, but is presented rather as if she were portraying a bland, moderately articulate, but disinterested dress-shop manageress in a second-class neighborhood. The only player to emerge with any real credit from this premature TV drama is Tamiroff's chief henchman, Anthony Quinn (whose part is fortunately much larger than his bottom-of-the-bill credit might indicate). Quinn at least bristles with a reasonable amount of charisma, but still manages the difficult feat of portraying a savvy lieutenant whom the script requires to be both cunningly useful yet on the dumb side of bright.


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