MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,067 this week

Underworld (1927)

 -  Crime | Drama | Romance  -  20 August 1927 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 1,315 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 27 critic

Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(adaptation), (story), 4 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 33 titles
created 23 Apr 2011
 
a list of 48 titles
created 20 Dec 2011
 
U
a list of 41 titles
created 04 Jul 2012
 
a list of 36 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 33 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Underworld" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Underworld (1927)

Underworld (1927) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Underworld.
Won 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

7th Heaven (1927)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A street cleaner saves a young woman's life, and the pair slowly fall in love until war intervenes.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Ben Bard
Dishonored (1931)
Drama | Music | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Austrian Secret Service sends its most seductive agent to spy on the Russians.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Victor McLaglen, Gustav von Seyffertitz
Street Angel (1928)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A woman on the run from the law finds her past catching up to her just as she is on the verge of true happiness.

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Charles Farrell, Natalie Kingston
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Many passengers on the Shanghai Express are more concerned that the notorious Shanghai Lil is on board than the fact that a civil war is going on that may make the trip take more than three... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Anna May Wong
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story takes place in Milwaukee during the early 1900s with a bank clerk named August Schiller who is happy with both his job and his family. He is tasked with transporting $1,000 in ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Emil Jannings, Belle Bennett, Phyllis Haver
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Blue Angel is a sleazy bar and the local boys go there to see Lola who is the dancer. The teacher goes there to confront his students only to fall for the dancer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron
Tempest (1928)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In Czarist Russia, a peasant officer, resented by the aristocrats, falls in love with a princess.

Directors: Sam Taylor, Lewis Milestone, and 1 more credit »
Stars: John Barrymore, Camilla Horn, Louis Wolheim
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: George K. Arthur, Georgia Hale, Bruce Guerin
Comedy | Romance | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two American soldiers are captured by the Germans on the Western Front during World War One and escape a POW camp only to stumble into further life-threatening adventures when they come across an Arabian king's daughter while on the lam.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: William Boyd, Mary Astor, Louis Wolheim
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Rudolph Schildkraut, Louise Dresser, Milton Holmes
The Racket (1928)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An honest police captain vows to bring down a powerful bootlegger who is protected by corrupt politicians and judges.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Thomas Meighan, Louis Wolheim, Marie Prevost
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Bancroft ...
'Bull' Weed
...
'Feathers' McCoy
...
Rolls Royce Wensel
Fred Kohler ...
'Buck' Mulligan
...
Meg, Mulligan's Girl
...
'Slippy' Lewis
Jerry Mandy ...
Paloma
Edit

Storyline

'Nobody helps me -- I help them!' boasts open-handed gangster Bull Weed, handing over what will prove to be the best investment in his high-spending career: a thousand dollars that will put the literate 'Rolls Royce' of vagrants back on his feet. Living it up in the Twenties with the aid of cool but smouldering moll Feathers, the Bull lords it over the law and his rivals alike -- specifically big Buck Mulligan, whose floral-tributes business echoes that of a certain real-life Chicago gangster... Yet Feathers, prize possession and object of envy, proves his weak point; and in the end, Bull Weed will indeed come to need help from others, and more than he has ever needed it before. But can Rolls Royce and Feathers still give it to him? And will the Bull accept? Written by Igenlode Wordsmith

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1927 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ley del hampa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Underworld" was submitted to the British Board of Film Censors three times:
  • The first submission, under the original title, was rejected because of the sympathetic portrayal of a criminal.


  • The second submission, under the title "The Penalty" and with cuts, was rejected.


  • The third submission, under the title "Paying the Penalty" to give the movie a more moral stance, and with additional cuts, was passed with an "A" certificate.


See more »

Quotes

'Feathers' McCoy: [to Rolls Royce] How long since you had the body washed and polishd?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scarface (1932) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent late silent with thoughtful script.

Ben Hecht's original story won an Oscar the first year of the Academy's existence and it deserved it. The film should have garnered additional noms for Von Sternberg's direction, screenplay and cinematography. All are top of the line.

The story has been copied many times - gang leader rehabilitates down and out highly intelligent former lawyer (who is on the skids) and latter becomes brains of his operation, falls for his girl, but both are too noble to betray their friend. However, the friend gets wind and gets jealous resulting in an ultimate showdown.

The superlative, tight direction of Von Sternberg and the very atmospheric cinematography (heavy use of revealing close-ups and soft focus) along with the adult script make this one of the best gangster films you'll ever see.

It has always puzzled me why another gangster film that year, THE RACKET, earned an Oscar nom for best film while a true original like UNDERWORLD did not get nominated for the top honor.

This is one very worth seeking out - an excellent late silent.


14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
OH COME ON NOW!!!!!!!! BG43214
Any Idea If This Can Be Seen GiveMeFilm
Was this film previously 'lost?' bob_gilmore1
New York screening on March 5, 2009 neil57
Discuss Underworld (1927) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?