6.4/10
134
5 user 10 critic

The Public Defender (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 1 August 1931 (USA)
Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal.... See full summary »

Director:

J. Walter Ruben

Writers:

George Goodchild (by), Bernard Schubert (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Richard Dix ... Pike Winslow
Shirley Grey ... Barbara Gerry
Purnell Pratt ... John Kirk
Ruth Weston ... Rose Harmer
Edmund Breese ... Frank Wells
Frank Sheridan ... Charles Harmer
Alan Roscoe ... Inspector Malcolm O'Neill
Boris Karloff ... The Professor
Nella Walker ... Aunt Matilda
Paul Hurst ... Doc
Carl Gerard ... Cyrus Pringle
Robert Emmett O'Connor ... Detective Brady (as Robert Emmet O'Connor)
Phillips Smalley ... Thomas Drake (as Phillip Smalley)
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Storyline

Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal. Using meticulous planning and split-second timing, Pike, along with his associates, the erudite 'Professor' and tough-guy scrapper 'Doc', attempt to find proof that will clear Gerry and identify the real culprits. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 August 1931 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Million Dollar Swindle See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Little Daddy (1931) and a Toby the Pup cartoon played before this film in some venues during it's original release. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Better than you'd might suspect.
3 February 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

To most, Pike Winslow (Richard Dix) is just some rich playboy living off Daddy's fortune. However, there is quite a bit more to him than this--he is a crusading masked hero whose calling card announces that he's 'The Reckoner'! And, with his two friends (Paul Hurst and Boris Karloff), they are out to right wrongs.

The film begins with a bank officer getting accused for the bank's shortage of funds--and all the other officers ganging up on him to place this blame. However, Winslow know the man and his family and can't help but think he's being railroaded. So, the Reckoner and his friends go to work--stealing documents from the real crooks that would implicate them.

All in all, this B-movie plays a lot like a very well-written and understated series film--such as Bulldog Drummond, the Saint, the Shadow or the like. But, the film is better written and quite exciting compared to a typical film of the genre. Too bad they didn't make some sequels--I would have enjoyed seeing further adventures of the Reckoner. Of course, given that 1931 also saw Karloff in "Frankenstein", perhaps he just better things to do than appear in more of these films.


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