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The Cop (1928)

 |  Crime, Drama  |  20 August 1928 (USA)
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Pete Smith, a lift bridge operator in a harbor, feels lonely in his cabin, his only visitor being a policeman on patrol, Sgt. Coughlin. One night, after hearing shots, Smith gives shelter ... See full summary »


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Title: The Cop (1928)

The Cop (1928) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Mary Monks
Robert Armstrong ...
Scarface Marcas
Tom Kennedy ...
Sergeant Coughlin
Louis Natheaux ...
Philip Sleeman ...
Lord Courtney (as Phil Sleeman)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dan Wolheim


Pete Smith, a lift bridge operator in a harbor, feels lonely in his cabin, his only visitor being a policeman on patrol, Sgt. Coughlin. One night, after hearing shots, Smith gives shelter to a wounded man, whom he hides from Coughlin. Before leaving, the man, Marcas, promises to return the favor and the coat he borrows from him. Later, Smith enters the police, and his chief, Mather, suspects he is protecting Marcas, who is actually a gangster. Marcas sends a girl, Mary Monks, to deliver a luxurious coat with a fur collar to Smith. Pete and Mary get along well, and for his sake, she betrays Marcas, who is eventually shot to death by the cops, after having stopped his mob from killing Smith. Mary goes away alone into the night, and when Mather finds out that Pete is protecting her, he drops away the evidence of her presence on the spot. Written by Denis Levy

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama




Release Date:

20 August 1928 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Botones dorados  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Gang/cop loyalty conflicts in NYC actual locations c. 1928.

This is one of three films from 1928 that all earned Oscar noms for Best Screenplay, all written by Elliott Clawson, and all starring the popular team of Alan Hale and William Boyd.

In this one, Hale is a police sergeant who takes a young recruit under his wing (Boyd). The latter left a lonely job as canal/lock superintendent to enter the police force. He had helped a gunshot-wounded man back to health (Armstrong), who then stole his coat and his dough and disappeared. Later in a line-up, Boyd recognizes Armstrong as a racketeer who has yet to be caught. Armstrong tries to ply Boyd with expensive gifts and even a visit from his girlfriend in hopes he can win the man over to the side of crime. Things go awry however when Armstrong kills Boyd's cop buddy in a shoot-out. Boyd then goes undercover after wise advise from Hale that he can't be wishy-washy about good and evil and still be a cop - to nab Armstrong.

The script is interesting and was certainly thoughtfully written - hence its Oscar nom, although the conclusion is poorly conceived and unbelievable. (Why should Armstrong's only escape from the city be on foot over the canal/lock that Boyd used to operate???) Jaqueline Logan is fine as Mary, the girl in question, and Tom Kennedy does well as Coughlin, the cop buddy.

The only extant print is a nitrate original in excellent shape housed in the Library of Congress, DC.

Most fascinating is the on location NYC filming c. 1928. Like SPEEDY that same year, this adds fascination to the film itself.

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