IMDb > Alibi (1929)

Alibi (1929) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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6.0/10   391 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Roland West (screenplay) and
C. Gardner Sullivan (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Alibi on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 April 1929 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
Chick Williams, a prohibition gangster, rejoins his mob soon after being released from prison. When a policeman is murdered during a robbery... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
Ages about as well as milk! See more (18 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Chester Morris ... Chick Williams
Harry Stubbs ... Buck Bachman

Mae Busch ... Daisy Thomas
Eleanor Griffith ... Joan Manning Williams

Regis Toomey ... Danny McGann
Purnell Pratt ... Police Sgt. Pete Manning (as Purnell B. Pratt)
Irma Harrison ... Toots
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elmer Ballard ... Soft Malone - Cab Driver (uncredited)

Diana Beaumont ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
James Bradbury Jr. ... Blake - a Crook (uncredited)
Ed Brady ... George Stanislaus David (uncredited)
Edgar Caldwell ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Trask - Plainclothesman (uncredited)
Virginia Flohri ... Singer in Theater (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Brown - a Crook (uncredited)
Edward Jardon ... Singer in Theater (uncredited)
DeWitt Jennings ... Officer O'Brien (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley ... Detective Sgt. Tommy Glennon (uncredited)
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Directed by
Roland West 
 
Writing credits
Roland West (screenplay) and
C. Gardner Sullivan (screenplay)

John Griffith Wray (play "Nightstick") &
J.C. Nugent (play "Nightstick") and
Elaine S. Carrington (play "Nightstick")

C. Gardner Sullivan  titles for silent version
Roland West  titles for silent version

Produced by
Roland West .... producer
 
Cinematography by
Ray June (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Hal C. Kern  (as Hal Kern)
 
Art Direction by
William Cameron Menzies 
 
Makeup Department
Robert Stephanoff .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Howard Campbell .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Ned Mann .... special effects (uncredited)
Harry Zech .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Hugo Riesenfeld .... musical arranger
 
Other crew
Fanchon .... choreographer
Joseph M. Schenck .... presenter (as Joseph Schenck)
John McCaleb .... police advisor (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
91 min (copyright length) | 83 min (Kino Print)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (MovieTone)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1930) | USA:TV-PG

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Alternative scenes were shot for a silent version of the film which was released simultaneously.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Then I'll Know WhySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
6 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Ages about as well as milk!, 13 February 2008
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

Aside from wine and cheese, not all things age well. Like a gallon of milk, over time this film has started to sour--thanks mostly to changing and improving film-making. In fact, had this film been made just a year or two later, it would have been much easier to sit through. Unfortunately, this can be said of most films made in 1929. This was a transition period in which silent films were changing to sound and the technology frankly wasn't very good. Plus, since this was all new territory, the films tended to be very, very stagy--mostly because the sound men had no idea how to compensate for people as they moved away or towards microphones. This is all painfully obvious with ALIBI. Some characters are loud and easy to understand, others appear as if whispering and others have their voices fade as they move. Additionally, the film looked a lot like a play in parts as they used very long single shots with few inter-cut scenes. Plus, it was obvious some scenes were originally filmed as silent because the standard 24 frames per second (used for all sound films) made these segments seem like people were moving too quickly (as silents were filmed anywhere from 16 to 22 frames per second).

As for the plot, it's a crime drama with a lot to like and a lot to hate. I liked how, at times, the film was rather gritty--particularly in the last few minutes (the building scene at the very end was amazingly tough and memorable--one of the best death scenes in film history). Some may also like how the cops in the film pretty much ignore the Bill of Rights--and weren't above slapping a confession out or someone or threatening them with guns! Some may also be appalled, but this is truly Film Noir-like in its sensibilities. But, the plot also is really stupid at times--with some of the dumbest criminals you'll ever see in films, clichés galore and a very sappy death scene that will practically make you cringe.

Now as for the plot. For 1929, it was really quite good. If we'd had IMDb and the internet back then, a score of 7 or 8 wouldn't be unexpected. However, by today's standards, I'd have a hard time giving it anything more than a 2 or 3. So, splitting the difference, a 5 seems appropriate--for the time, a very good film but when seen today, it's terribly old fashioned and dull.

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