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Outside the Law (1920)

Passed  -  Crime | Romance  -  6 January 1921 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 301 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 3 critic

In this early collaboration with director Tod Browning (Dracula, Freaks), Chaney delivers a dual performance of dramatic intensity, starring as Ah Wing, a kind-hearted student of Confucian ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Molly Madden (Silky Moll)
Wheeler Oakman ...
Dapper Bill Ballard
...
Black Mike Sylva / Ah Wing
Ralph Lewis ...
Silent Madden
E. Alyn Warren ...
Chang Lo
Stanley Goethals ...
That Kid
Melbourne MacDowell ...
Morgan Spencer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wilton Taylor ...
Inspector
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Storyline

In this early collaboration with director Tod Browning (Dracula, Freaks), Chaney delivers a dual performance of dramatic intensity, starring as Ah Wing, a kind-hearted student of Confucian philosophy, and Black Mike Sylva, a murderous rake of the San Francisco underworld. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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CATCH THIS WOMAN! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

6 January 1921 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fora da Lei  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Was found in the estate of farmers wife Miss Bishman where a traveling man left the prints and never returned. See more »

Goofs

The name of San Francisco's Nob Hill is misspelled "Knob Hill" in a title. See more »

Quotes

Black Mike Sylva: I knew you'd fall for that cop stuff - you dirty rat!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Tod Browning and Lon Chaney (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Minor but solid early Browning-Chaney collaboration recommended to fans of their collective output
26 September 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

Not a stab at the movie's quality but (as with many Lon Chaney vehicles) it's worth a watch mostly for his typically electrifying performance. He plays another tough as nails gangster bad guy called Black Mike (and has a secondary role as Ah Wing, Chinese sage Chang Low's assistant) but instead of merely fulfilling his genre role as antagonist and villain, he brings a level of malevolence that elevelates his character to a whole other kind of grotesque not far from horror territory.

As is true for other films that Chaney received second billing, he's mostly in the opening and closing 15 minutes which are packed with explosive action. The middle deals with the mandatory romance between protagonist Molly Maddoc (played by the sashy Priscilla Dean who steals scenes) and Black Mike's right hand man Bill who double crosses his boss out of remorse and love for miss Maddoc. They spend the middle act holed up in an apartment after a successful jewel robbery, hiding from cops and Black Mike alike.

All in all Outside the Law is not a masterpiece of any kind but fans of silent films and especially Lon Chaney will find enough to appreciate.


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