Bullets or Ballots

Synopsis: After Police Captain Dan McLaren becomes police commissioner former detective Johnny Blake knocks him down convincing rackets boss Al Kruger that Blake is sincere in his effort to join the mob. "Buggs" Fenner thinks Blake is a police agent.
Director(s): William Keighley
82 min

What time does the crime picture start?

Eight fifty-eight, in about three minutes.

Two loges.

This is William Kennedy, bringing you

the second of a series of short pictures...

...exposing the rackets of America:

The Syndicate of Crime.

A series of short pictures presented

to the American public as a warning.

To arouse them

against a growing national menace:

The modern racketeer.

Wait till you see the actor

that takes you off.


The total gold bullion in the United States

Treasury and Mints was $9.5 billion.


The crime combine of the racketeers...

...entrenched in 88 cities

of over 100,000 population...

...and reaching into thousands

of surrounding towns...

...robbed the American people

of $ 15 billion.

Huge sums extorted

from the businessman.

A steady flood of pennies,

nickels and dimes...

...drained from the purses

of the homeowner...

...the laborer and the housewife.

On the East Coast, perishable foods.

A quarter of a cent levied

on every head of lettuce.

A cent on artichokes.

A fraction of a cent

on every type of produce.

When wholesalers refuse to pay tribute...

...the racketeers prevent them

from moving shipments.

Hundreds of carloads of fresh vegetables

rot on sidings.

Across the street

from 100,000 American schools...

...attractive games are installed

in stores, shops and restaurants.

And in one city alone,

the racketeers harvest $80,000 a week.

How many kids are there

in that school?

- Thirty-five hundred.

- Do you get much of their trade?

- Quite a bit.

- How about building it up?

We'll install a nickel game for you.

So they can go hungry handing you

their lunch money. Get out of here.

Well, if that's the way you feel,

we'll only install three.

And you'll like it.

- A home run, there it goes.

- Home run, home run.

- I can beat that.

- You better not spend any more.

- Spare me a nickel, will you?

- Out of my way, kids.

The Pacific Coast.

A group of restaurants refuse

to buy meat through the racketeers.

They try to buy it direct.

- What's the big idea?

- Where are you taking the load?

- Paris Caf.

- All right, Joe.

- Why, you can't get away with...

- Sit down.

Nothing like a good kerosene flavor

on a steak.

You're next.

October, 1935.

Al Kruger, a notorious racketeer,

comes up for trial.

He has previously

been arrested 11 times...

...on charges ranging from grand larceny

to felonious assault.

Dismissed each time.

He finally faces a jury.

Be seated.

Have you reached a verdict?

- We have, Your Honor.

- You may state it to the court.

We find the defendant not guilty.

I wish to state that your verdict

is one that destroys the confidence...

...of law-abiding people in the integrity

and justice of the American court.

You can leave here knowing you have

rendered a blow at law enforcement...

...and encouraged those

who violate the law.

They will probably praise you.

I do not.

Jury discharged.

And so Kruger is again

given his freedom...

...and returns to collect his share

of the $ 200-million plunder...

...taken each year in his city.

So what?

Entrenched and protected...

...the crime combine strikes swiftly

at those who oppose it.

Ward Bryant, publisher and

leading crusader against the rackets...

...receives a telephone death threat

against himself and his family.

He makes a public reply.

I have been ordered to stop making

The Syndicate of Crime pictures.

The gentleman who phoned added,

"Or else. "

For his information,

I shall continue to make them.

And my papers will continue their present

policy of open attack on racketeers...

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Seton I. Miller

Seton Ingersoll Miller (May 3, 1902 – March 29, 1974) was an American screenwriter and producer. During his career, he worked with many notable film directors such as Howard Hawks and Michael Curtiz. Miller received two Oscar nominations and won once for Best Screenplay for fantasy romantic comedy film Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) along with Sidney Buchman. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Bullets or Ballots" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Mar. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/bullets_or_ballots_4813>.

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