IMDb > Underworld (1927)

Underworld (1927) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Writers:
Charles Furthman (adaptation)
Ben Hecht (story)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Underworld on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 August 1927 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Criminal Life See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
George Bancroft ... 'Bull' Weed

Evelyn Brent ... 'Feathers' McCoy

Clive Brook ... Rolls Royce Wensel
Fred Kohler ... 'Buck' Mulligan
Helen Lynch ... Meg, Mulligan's Girl
Larry Semon ... 'Slippy' Lewis
Jerry Mandy ... Paloma
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Alfred Allen ... Judge (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Street Kid (uncredited)
Andy MacLennan ... One of Laughing Faces at the Ball (uncredited)
Ida May ... Laughing Woman at the Ball (uncredited)
Karl Morse ... 'High Collar' Sam (uncredited)
Julian Rivero ... One of Buck's Henchmen (uncredited)

Directed by
Josef von Sternberg 
Arthur Rosson (uncredited) (fired, replaced by J. Von Sternberg)
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Charles Furthman  adaptation (as Charles Furthmann)
Howard Hawks  scenario (uncredited)
Ben Hecht  story
Robert N. Lee  adaptation
George Marion Jr.  titles
Josef von Sternberg  uncredited

Produced by
B.P. Schulberg .... associate producer
Hector Turnbull .... supervising producer
 
Original Music by
Robert Israel (2010 Composer New Score)
 
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon 
 
Film Editing by
E. Lloyd Sheldon 
 
Costume Design by
Travis Banton 
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Henry Hathaway .... second unit director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Hans Dreier .... set designer (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
William H. Clothier .... assistant camera
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edith Head .... assistant costume designer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jesse L. Lasky .... presenter
Adolph Zukor .... presenter
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
80 min | Portugal:87 min (director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-8 (1992) | Finland:(Banned) (1929) | Portugal:17 (director's cut) | UK:R (original rating) | UK:A (re-rating) (cut) | USA:Not Rated

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:
'Bull' Weed:-There was something I had to find out - - and that hour was worth more to me than my whole life.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Scarface (1983)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Criminal Life, 20 December 2011

Of the three silent classics made by Josef von Sternberg in the 1920s, "The Last Command" and "The Docks of New York" were declared part of the US National Film Registry, but according to my personal taste and appreciation of film art, the obvious choice for this distinction should have been "Underworld". Sternberg would later meet Marlene Dietrich for the classic early sound film "The Blue Angel" and become the creator of the "Marlene myth"; but in "Underworld" there are already hints of mastery of composition and framing, without the tendency to exotica through the eyes of Hollywood displayed in the Dietrich films ("Morocco", "Blonde Venus", "Shanghai Express", for example), although a couple of them are good. "Underworld" is the fascinating story of the rise, decadence and fall of a criminal (George Bancroft) in luscious black & white: for those who have seen Howard Hawks' "Scarface" (1932), the plot may seem familiar, because both films are based on a story by Ben Hecht, who won one of the first Oscars when there was an Academy Award for "Best Story", for his tale of "Underworld". Closer to Expressionism than Hawks' film, and away from the strident first experimentations with sound, "Underworld" is an elegant motion picture, with seductive silhouettes and aural suggestions, to evoke the climate of violence that determines the story. A must-see film.

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