The Secret Six (1931)
This is MGM's attempt at a "B" gangster movie which was always Warner Brother's specialty. The film is well done thanks to Director, George W. Hill from a screenplay by Frances Marion but pretty much covers every cliché in the genre. MGM puts out a full cast, and includes the studio's relative new-comers, Clark Gable and Jean Harlow (their first movie together).
Richard Newton (Lewis Stone) is an alcoholic deffence lawyer who secretly is the brains behind the Central outfit run by Johnny Franks (a sleazy looking Ralph Bellamy). Johnny brings in some new talent, Louie "Slaughterhouse" Scorpio (Wallace Beery) who sledgehammers cattle and does pig-sticking for a living, so you know he's going to be pretty brutal in his new career goals.
Johnny is a bootlegger and owns a speak-easy, and has a gangster mall, Peaches (Marjorie Rambeau). You know that Scorpio is going to eventually take over the gang and Peaches too.
Two competing reporters, Hank Rogers (Johnny Mack Brown) and Carl Luckner (Gable) are out to grab the crime story for their papers, as well as vying for the attentions of cute cigarette girl, Anne Courtland (Harlow) who, in fact, is working for Scorpio. She slides up to Hank to influence his coverage of Slaughterhouse Scorpio's activities, but she slowly falls in love with the guy.
Unknown to anyone Carl is Operator 36, working undercover for the "Secret Six" a secret crime fighting organization of businessmen and political kingpins. When they talk to people, they need to be blindfolded to protect their identity. Yeah, I know, sort of like right now.
Hank has got an angle to steal Scorpio's gun and using modern ballistic technology, prove that his gun was used in several murders, but Scorpio is hot on his trail. Anne testifies against Scorpio in court, but you know that Scorpio is going to beat the rap until the Secret Six get on him.