Conspiracy (1930 film)

Conspiracy is a 1930 American pre-Code mystery melodrama film produced and distributed by RKO Pictures and directed by Christy Cabanne. It is the second adaptation of the play The Conspiracy by Robert B. Baker and John Emerson and stars Bessie Love and Ned Sparks.

Film Poster
Directed byChristy Cabanne
Produced byWilliam LeBaron
Written byBeulah Marie Dix
Based onThe Conspiracy (play)
by Robert B. Baker and John Emerson
StarringBessie Love
Ned Sparks
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyNicholas Musuraca
Edited byArthur Roberts
Distributed byRKO Pictures
Release date
  • August 10, 1930 (1930-08-10) (US)[1]
Running time
69 minutes
Box office$138,000[2]


After their father is killed, brother and sister Margaret and Victor Holt devote themselves to bringing down the drug gang responsible for his death. Victor rises to become an attorney in the district attorney's office, and eventually Margaret wangles her way into becoming the secretary for James (Marco) Morton, the head of the drug ring. When Morton discovers Margaret's true identity, he contrives a plot to lure her brother into a trap and kill him.

Margaret learns of the plot and rushes to save her brother. In the ensuing melee, she kills Morton in her attempt to save Victor, who is also seemingly killed. Afraid of being convicted of murder, she flees the scene. In hiding, she becomes friends with a mystery author, Winthrop Clavering, and a reporter, John Howell, the truth about the murder is revealed, and it is discovered that Victor was not killed, but is being held prisoner by the drug ring. Victor is rescued, and Margaret and John develop a romantic relationship.[3]



This film is the second adaptation of the Baker/Emerson play, the earlier version being the silent film, The Conspiracy, filmed in 1914 by the Famous Players Film Company, produced by Charles Frohman, and starring Emerson himself in the role of Clavering, reprised from his stint in the Broadway play.[4] It ran from December 1912 through May 1914 at Garrick Theatre in New York City.[5]

This film is not connected to another RKO film made in 1939 also called Conspiracy.[3]


The film recorded a loss of $50,000.[2]


This film is preserved at the Library of Congress.[6]

In 1958, the film entered the public domain in the U.S. because the copyright claimants did not renew the copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.[7]


  1. "Conspiracy: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  2. Jewel, Richard (1994). "RKO Film Grosses: 1931–1951". Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television. 14. p. 57.
  3. Munden, Kenneth W., ed. (1971). The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures Produced in the United States: Feature Films 1921–1930. New York: R.R. Bowker Company. p. 145. OCLC 664500075.
  4. "The Conspiracy: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  5. "The Conspiracy". Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved September 14, 2016.
  6. Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artist Collection at The Library of Congress by The American Film Institute, c.1978
  7. Pierce, David (June 2007). "Forgotten Faces: Why Some of Our Cinema Heritage Is Part of the Public Domain". Film History: An International Journal. Vol. 19 no. 2. pp. 125–43. doi:10.2979/FIL.2007.19.2.125. ISSN 0892-2160. JSTOR 25165419. OCLC 15122313. See Note 60, p. 143
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