Show Them No Mercy (1935)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Psychological Thriller, Crime Thriller, Gangster Film  |   Run Time - 76 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Hans J. Wollstein

A fine entry in the then popular G-Men cycle, Show Them No Mercy was an anomaly for 1935, the year of Warner Bros.' G-Men, a gangster drama that focused on the criminals and their victims rather than the heroism of law enforcement officers. It should come as no surprise, then, that the film, written by Public Enemy's Kubec Glasmon, came in from quite a bit attention from the powerful Production Code Administration. But after rearranging part of the story line, Show Them No Mercy was granted the code's all-important seal of approval. Not that the changes seem to have dulled the impact of this terse drama, in which Bruce Cabot, late of Let 'Em Have It!, once again plays a gangster boss on the edge. Although rarely mentioned among the stars of the genre, Cabot is particularly chilling because he generally eschews the hoary theatrics all too common to the genre's perhaps lesser efforts. According to the actor himself, he based his portrayal here on real-life mobster Vincent "Mad Dog" Coll.