Big City Blues exploits a cautionary tale to the limit and the characters simply revolve around Budd as he lets things fall into place and takes no action besides what he’s told to do by Vida who uses him just as bad as the others despite her motive not to. If this was to prove how green Budd was, it accomplished the goal but leaves the viewer feeling Linden gave a flat performance. I was also not impressed with how nonchalant the other characters at the party were when they were all hauled in for the murder compared to Vida and Budd who were overwrought with the accusations piled up against them.
You can classify Big City Blues as just another pre-code quickie with little treasures like Grant Mitchell as the doubtful station agent, Guy Kibbee as the drunken and clueless hotel detective, and Humphrey Bogart before he became known as a tough guy.
Not seen but heard, the film also features Dick Powell as the radio announcer.
Tonight on TCM!