The Shakedown (1929 film)

The Shakedown is a 1929 action/comedy/sports drama film, directed by William Wyler and starring James Murray, Barbara Kent, and Jack Hanlon.

The Shakedown
Theatrical release poster
Directed byWilliam Wyler
Produced byCarl Laemmle, Jr.
Written byCharles Logue
Clarence Marks
StarringJames Murray
Barbara Kent
Music byJoseph Cherniavsky
CinematographyJerome Ash
Charles J. Stumar
Edited byRichard Cahoon
Lloyd Nosler
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • March 10, 1929 (1929-03-10)
Running time
70 min
CountryUnited States

Considered a part-talkie, the film was released in parallel silent and sound versions. Once believed lost, The Shakedown was discovered and restored by the staff of the George Eastman House in 1998. Director William Wyler made the move up to talking pictures with this blend of action and comedy.


Dave Roberts (James Murray) is a professional boxer better at losing in fixed matches than in knocking out his opponents. He turns up in towns and is part of a group who sets up corrupt boxing matches. Dave's life on the margins changes after he meets a mother and son. As he begins to care for them, he ultimately has to decide whether to continue in his low-life ways or turn the tables on those who have been forcing him to participate in them.


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