Secret Six, The (1931)
“Carl, you’d better come through: Who are the secret six?”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
While there’s nothing new under the sun here in terms of the plot — small-time slaughterhouse worker rises to the top of the crime world by killing colleagues, bribing journalists, and planting politicians — it’s all done with style and levity, and is a joy to watch. It’s also fun to see Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in two of their earlier film roles, with Gable coming across as especially charismatic. However, this film really should have a different title, given that the “Secret Six” (concerned citizens who, as Peary puts it, “look silly in their Lone Ranger masks”) only show up twice, and don’t have much to do with the overall plot.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
One thought on “Secret Six, The (1931)”
First viewing. In agreement with the assessment here; and not a must.
It’s easy to see why TCM tends to show this back-to-back with ‘Beast of the City’; they’re cut of similar cloth. I’d give ‘SS’ the edge, however. Hill’s direction is smoother and the script is tighter, more economic.
I was unaware that Hill committed suicide (after being in a bad accident) a few years after making this film. It would have been interesting to see his growth as a director.