“Every dollar you ever made was right from somebody’s heart — you’re nothing but a bloodsucker.”
Corrupt bondsman Bill Bailey (George Bancroft) falls for a thrill-seeking young socialite (Frances Dee), who nearly causes his downfall.
Response to Peary’s Review:
This above-average underworld thriller from the early 1930s defies easy categorization. As Peary points out, director Rowland Brown doesn’t pass judgment on those participating in organized crime (which he considered to be a “legitimate” business during the Depression); in this film’s universe, the only crime of which “one should be ashamed” is a double-cross. The characters flout convention as well: a shady, ordinary-looking bondsman is the sympathetic protagonist of the film, while Frances Dee’s wealthy kleptomaniac thrill-seeker is, as Peary puts it, “a woman years ahead of her time”. At only 65 minutes long, Blood Money moves quickly, with several exciting plot twists, some unusual settings (including a dog race), well-written dialogue, and nuanced characters. Well worth a look.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Judith Anderson, wonderful in her first screen role
Frances Dee as the spoiled, thrill-seeking young socialite
- An exciting climax
- Smart dialogue
Yes, simply to watch one of the few films directed by the notorious Rowland Brown. Discussed at length in Peary’s Cult Movies 2 (1983).