The Public Defender

The Public Defender is a 1931 pre-Code crime film directed by J. Walter Ruben, starring Richard Dix and featuring Boris Karloff. Rich playboy Pike Winslow dons the mantle of 'The Reckoner', a mysterious avenger, when he learns that his lady friend Barbara Gerry's father has been framed in a bank embezzlement scandal. Using meticulous planning and split-second timing, Pike, along with his associates, the erudite 'Professor' and tough-guy scrapper 'Doc', attempt to find proof that will clear Gerry and identify the real culprits.

The Public Defender
Film poster
Directed byJ. Walter Ruben
James Anderson (assistant)
Produced byWilliam LeBaron
Louis Sarecky
Written byGeorge Goodchild
Bernard Schubert
StarringRichard Dix
Shirley Grey
CinematographyEdward Cronjager
Edited byArchie Marshek
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • July 31, 1931 (1931-07-31) ( Premiere-New York City)
  • August 1, 1931 (1931-08-01) (U.S.)[1]
Running time
69 minutes
CountryUnited States


See also


  1. "The Public Defender: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved April 22, 2014.
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