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Another Face

Another Face(1935)

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teaser Another Face (1935)

Brian Donlevy could play comic and deadly serious versions of his tough-guy type, but rarely did he get to do both in the same film. This 1935 quasi-comedy from RKO came out the same year as his breakthrough role as vice king Edward G. Robinson's muscle in Barbary Coast (1935). The picture starts in a similar vein, with ruthless gangster Broken Nose Dawson using plastic surgery to elude the police, then brutally killing the surgeon and his nurse. When he takes his new face to Hollywood, however, the film takes a turn to satire, as the experienced thug turns inexperienced actor and rises to stardom. The impetus for his new life is ambitious press agent Wallace Ford, who promotes Donlevy to advance his own career. But a witness to his evil ways also turns up on the lot, setting the stage for a fiery confrontation that shifts the film back into gangster territory. RKO surrounded the male stars with some of their best character players, including Erik Rhodes as an assistant director, Alan Hale as the studio chief and Hattie McDaniel as a maid. Christy Cabanne, one of the screen's most prolific low-budget directors, ties it all together in a fast-paced 69 minutes.

By Frank Miller

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