The Frame-Up Movie (1937)

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Director D. Ross Lederman

Written by Richard Wormser, Harold Shumate

Stars Paul Kelly, Julie Bishop, George McKay

Cinematography Benjamin Kline

Genre Crime, Drama, Romance

Running Time 59min

Release date May 2, 1937

Country United States of America

Language English


Actor Character

Paul Kelly Mark MacArthur

Julie Bishop Betty Lindale

George McKay Joe Lavery

Robert Emmett O’Connor Larry Mann

Ray Bennett Franey Forrester

Wade Boteler Police Captain Donovan

Edward Earle Ellery Richards

C. Montague Shaw James (J.R.) Weston

John Tyrrell Soapy Connor

Ted Oliver Spud Gitale

Horace Murphy Dr Phillips


Released in 1937, the movie tells a story of crime and romance involving betting. Mark MacArthur played by Paul Kelly is a popular figure that works as the head of detectives assigned to oversee state racing activities.

Mark gets information from Ellery Richards who is distinguished in the racing world that some funny business might be going on. Ellery Richards tells Mark that bookers and gangsters in the city are placing heavy bets on his horse Red Roger.

On further investigation, Mark finds out from a bookmaker called Soapy Connor that Larry Mann is involved. Larry Mann is a crooked gambler with a high status in the underworld and he uses threats to keep Mark from foiling his plot.

Larry kidnaps Betty Lindale who is Mark’s secretary and lover. This forces Mark to stop the investigation to a stop to prevent anything happening to his sweetheart. Larry Mann is pleased with the outcome of the blackmail, not knowing that Mark and his assistant Joe Lavery are still investigating on the low. Mark finds that Ellery Richard’s horse, Red roger has been switched out for a similar horse belonging to a John Weston.

Mark tricks John Weston into telling him the truth about the horses being switched. He then confronts Larry Mann with the truth telling him that the witnesses to the crime that include John Weston have left town. Larry Mann feels cornered and takes Mark to the location where Ms Betty Lindale is being held.

As this is going on, John Weston escapes from police custody to warn Larry Mann that Mark is tricking him. Larry Mann gets angry and things become tricky for the reunited Mark and Betty. Before things get out of hand, the police arrive in the nick of time arresting Larry Mann and his goons.


The movie introduces us to the betting world back in the 1930s slowly but steadily. Mark embodies his character as head detective well by how he goes around gathering clues on what Larry Mann has been doing. He seems like a man who cannot be easily blackmailed, but we soon find out that Betty Lindale is his kryptonite.

The story weaves romance and crime into a simple but exciting tale. It is not a heavily-romantic movie as the crime takes centre stage. Robert Emmett O’Connor plays Larry Mann so well that you end up disliking the character with zeal.

For a movie set in the 1930s, the picture quality is bearable. The movie gives a good representation of the horse-racing culture as it was back then and some of the rules that operated that world. This movie will have you smiling at the end of it.


Among the movies of the era, this movie can be considered a great one. It has achieved an average rating of 6.2 from viewers all around the globe. Those who are interested in movies dipped in crime and romance should find some popcorn and watch this one with glee. It is not action-packed like 21st century movies, but you will find the story worthwhile.

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