Disorderly Conduct


1h 22m 1932

Brief Synopsis

When motorcycle cop Dick Fay gives a ticket to Phyllis Crawford, her father's graft-fed influence leads to his demotion to foot patrolman. When Fay leads a raid on a gangster's place he discovers Phyllis there, helps her escape, then blackmails her father.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 20, 1932
Premiere Information
New York opening: 8 Apr 1932
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,400ft (9 reels)

Synopsis

While on another officer's beat one night, motorcycle cop Dick Fay refuses a bribe from Fletcher, a bootlegging associate of influential politician James Crawford, to ignore passing lumber trucks on which liquor is hidden. When Dick pursues the trucks, Stallings, the liquor supplier, drives Dick into a ditch and leaves him unconscious. The next day, Dick returns Crawford's "gift" of two five hundred dollar bills and, after stating that the only way to get to the top of the department is by being a good cop, refuses Crawford's offer of help. After Dick arrests Crawford's daughter Phyllis for speeding, trying to bribe him and eluding arrest, he is demoted to the rank of patrolman. He is then transferred to a station run by Captain Dan Manning, a former army officer known as "Honest Dan" because of his intolerance of graft among his officers. Phyllis, who has refused Manning's marriage proposals, is snubbed by Dick as she and her society friends visit the station, and she begins to respect him. In order to buy expensive gifts for his mother, two orphaned nieces and his nephew Jimmy, who live with him, Dick, who is now cynical about his occupation, begins to accept graft from racketeer Tony Alsotto, a rival of Stallings. In return, Dick tells Alsotto when Manning plans to raid his speakeasy. When Dick makes insulting remarks to Manning about Phyllis, Manning slugs him and locks him up for disorderly conduct. Suspicious of Dick, Manning plans to raid Alsotto's club. Phyllis visits the club that night, and she is attracted to Stallings, whom she met earlier at her father's house. They go to a private room, but when he grabs her, she stabs her flower pin into his hand. Stallings slugs her just as the raid begins, and as she tries to leave the room, Stallings is shot by Alsotto. Dick arrests Phyllis, and after Manning fires him for accepting graft from Alsotto, Dick taunts Manning, saying that now Manning will have to evade the law himself to keep Phyllis' name cleared. Crawford pleads with Dick to keep Phyllis' name out of the scandal, and Dick complies, for $10,000. Alsotto, who believes that Dick has double-crossed him, follows him home with his mob, and they open fire with a machine gun and kill Jimmy. Dick locates Alsotto and in a gunfight kills him and his men while suffering a bullet in the stomach. He returns to the station and gives Manning the $10,000 before fainting. When he recovers, Manning tells him he can report for his old job as a motorcycle cop. Sometime later, Phyllis arranges for Dick to catch her speeding so she can give him a note saying that she has learned to hate herself and to like him.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 20, 1932
Premiere Information
New York opening: 8 Apr 1932
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
7,400ft (9 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, this film originally was intended to be the last film in the "Flagg and Quirt" series, starring Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe, and was to be directed by Raoul Walsh. Walsh, however, agreed to direct The Yellow Ticket (see below) instead of this film, and the story was developed for Spencer Tracy rather than Edmund Lowe. (For information concerning the series, for Women of All Nations.) The legal records also state that photographer Ray June was loaned by Feature Productions, Inc. Contemporary sources disagree on whether Sally Blane or her sister, Polly Ann Young, played the role of "Helen Burke," and whether Geneva Mitchell or Josephine Johnson played the role of "Phoebe"; it has not been determined which actresses appeared in the final film. Edward Crandall is listed for the role of "Perce Manners" in an early billing sheet in the legal records, but James Todd played that role, according to New York Times. Information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, also at UCLA, suggests that two endings were shot for this film. In three of the four scripts included in the Fox files, after "Dick" gives "Manning" the $10,000, he dies from the wound he received in the shootout with "Alsotto." In addition, in the "Dialogue Taken from the Screen" dated February 19, 1932, there is a page entitled "In the Event the Sad Ending Is Shown" which gives the dialogue for the alternate final scene: men sing "It's Sleepy Time Down South" as Manning gets a report; he has them stop singing, then reports over his radio that Officer Richard Fay was killed in the line of duty.