RARA-AVIS: The Secret Six

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 16 Mar 2003

In a message dated 3/6/03 10:15:38 PM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

 Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2003 13:04:52 -0500
 From: Robison Michael R CNIN < Robison_M@crane.navy.mil>
 Subject: RARA-AVIS: Gangster novels
 I read somewhere that, although many gangster novels preceded
 Burnett's LITTLE CAESAR, it was the first one to look at it from
 the gangster's end instead of from law enforcement. What other
 hardboiled gangster novel preceded it? What other hardboiled
 gangster novels came out in the 1930s? I can think of FAST ONE,
 GREEN ICE, and, marginally, SANCTUARY.

A belated addition to those already listed: THE SECRET SIX By Frances Marion
(1931). This was a novelization by Marion of her screenplay for the MGM gangster film of the same name with the remarkable cast of Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable, Lewis Stone, Johnny Mack Brown and Ralph Bellamy. Rather overshadowed by the "Scarface," "Public Enemy," "Little Caeser" and other great gangster films of that era, "The Secret Six" is worth seeking out. While it has been years since I saw the movie I recall Beery's performance as the racketeer Scorpio as being very tough and very good.

Richard Moore

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