Public Hero No. 1

Watch Public Hero No. 1

  • Passed
  • 1935
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.7  (663)

Public Hero No. 1 is a 1935 crime drama film starring Lionel Barrymore, Jean Arthur, and Chester Morris. The film centers around a reformed criminal named Professor John Edward Stedman (Barrymore), who is hired by the Governor of the state to create a rehabilitation program for convicts. Stedman's program is a success, but his past catches up to him when one of his former associates, Danny (Morris), blackmails him into helping him pull off a heist.

The film begins with a young Stedman in prison, where he is visited by his sister (Arthur). She convinces him to turn his life around and become a productive member of society. After his release, Stedman takes her advice and becomes a professor of sociology, focusing on the rehabilitation of criminals.

Stedman's program is a success, and he gains the attention of the Governor, who hires him to create a similar program for the state's convicts. Stedman throws himself into his work, but he is haunted by his past and the fear that it will eventually catch up with him.

This fear becomes a reality when Danny, Stedman's former accomplice, is released from prison and begins to blackmail him. Danny threatens to reveal Stedman's criminal past to the Governor unless he helps him pull off a heist. Stedman reluctantly agrees, but he is determined to make sure that Danny is caught and brought to justice.

The film's climax involves Stedman and Danny's plan to steal a valuable necklace. Their plan goes awry, and the police are called. Stedman is able to escape with the necklace but is caught by the police soon after. He pleads with the Governor to understand that he was forced to work with Danny and that his rehabilitation program should not be blamed for his actions. The Governor agrees, and Stedman is pardoned.

The film ends with Stedman reuniting with his sister and his fiancée, both of whom stood by him throughout his ordeal. Stedman's redemption is complete, and he is hailed as a hero for his efforts to rehabilitate convicts.

Public Hero No. 1 is a classic Hollywood crime drama that explores themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the power of second chances. The film is expertly directed and features standout performances by Barrymore, Arthur, and Morris. The script is well-written and keeps the audience engaged throughout, building tension until the film's satisfying conclusion.

Overall, Public Hero No. 1 is a must-see for fans of classic Hollywood crime dramas. Its message of hope and redemption is as relevant today as it was almost a century ago.

Public Hero No. 1
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (663)