skip navigation
A Very Honorable Guy

A Very Honorable Guy(1934)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)

DVDs from TCM Shop

A Very Honorable Guy A gambler sells his body to... MORE > $18.95 Regularly $19.99 Buy Now


powered by AFI

teaser A Very Honorable Guy (1934)

Based on Damon Runyon's 1929 story, A Very Honorable Guy is an early entry in the subset of films about a man (in this case, bass-mouthed comic Joe E. Brown) with nothing to live for who arranges to have himself knocked off by a hitman... only to find, in his dwindling days, ample reason to go on. Par for the course for Runyonville, this Warner Brothers comedy is chockablock with outrageous characters, among them Alan Dinehart as a mobster who stands to profit from Brown's untimely demise; Alice White as Brown's greedy guts fiance; and Robert Barrat as a mad scientist with designs on Brown's skull. Director Lloyd Baker helmed this modestly budgeted farce between bigger assignments on the Academy Award-nominated 42nd Street (1933) and the James Cagney vehicle Here Comes the Navy (1934), nominated for Best Picture in 1935. Lending credible - and often incredible - support are Hobart Cavanaugh, Arthur Vinton, and Al Hill (a real life criminal who traded larceny for the life of an actor) as underworld thugs, as well as the composer-lyricist team of Harry Warren and Al Dubin, who would win the Best Original Song Oscar in 1936 for "Lullaby of Broadway." Screenwriter Earl Baldwin had incorporated mad science into his script for Doctor X (1932) and co-wrote Warners' later Damon Runyon adaptation A Slight Case of Murder (1938), starring Edward G. Robinson.

By Richard Harland Smith

back to top