IMDb > Alibi (1929)
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Alibi (1929) More at IMDbPro »

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Roland West (screenplay) and
C. Gardner Sullivan (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Alibi on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 April 1929 (USA) See more »
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:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more »
User Reviews:
A Classic Gangster Film: Overacted but Startling At Times See more (18 total) »


  (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)

Directed by
Roland West  (as Roland West's Alibi)
Writing credits
Roland West (screenplay by) and
C. Gardner Sullivan (screenplay by)

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

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 (edited by) (as Hal Kern)
Art Direction by
William Cameron Menzies (art direction)
Costume Design by
Gwen Wakeling (uncredited)
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 arrangements
Other crew
Fanchon .... choreographer
Joseph M. Schenck .... presents (as Joseph Schenck)
John McCaleb .... police advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Alternative scenes were shot for a silent version of the film which was released simultaneously.See more »
Joan Manning Williams:I've had enough with being a policeman's daughter. And I don't want to be another policeman's wife
Buck Bachman:Well, now, what's the matter with policemen?
Joan Manning Williams:They think themselves great heroes.
Buck Bachman:Well, we've got to uphold the law.
Joan Manning Williams:Law! Is bull-dogging, third-degreeing people into confessing crimes they didn't commit, is that law?
Buck Bachman:No, but... Oh, I don't understand.
Joan Manning Williams:Of course you don't. You're a policeman. And you'll never understand!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Indie Sex: Censored (2007) (TV)See more »
I've Never Seen a Smile Like YoursSee more »


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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
A Classic Gangster Film: Overacted but Startling At Times, 31 January 2010
Author: Jay Raskin from Orlando, United States

The acting is mainly from the silent film era, but the fact that it is a sound film actually makes it quite interesting.

The film is pre-Hayes Code and is startling in its violence. I don't think it was until 1937 and "Petrified Forest" (Humphrey Bogart) and 1951 "White Heat" (James Cagney)that such a psychopathic criminal was on screen. I don't think it was until 1970 and "Dirty Harry" (Clint Eastwood) that such a anger-filled cop was shown. The way the police are shown threatening to shoot a suspect and make it look like an attempted escape, really makes one see the need for Miranda Rights for suspects, something that didn't exist in 1929.

The lead performances by Regis Toomey and Chester Morris are memorable. This was Morris' first starring role and he went on to star in nearly 50 films over the next 10 years. In the 1940's he starred 14 times in the detective movie series "Boston Blackie". He did around 45 television shows in the 1950's and 60's.

This was Regis Toomey's first movie. He went on to star in some 25 movies over the next 5 years, before becoming one of Hollywood's most dependable supporting character actors in some 150 more films into the 1950's, often playing police detectives. He was in such classics as "His Girl Friday," "Meet John Doe," "Spellbound," and "Mighty Joe Young." He went on to appear on over 100 television shows from the 1950's to the 1980's. He costarred with Gene Barry in "Burke's Law" for three years in the 1960's.

Director Roland West did just two more films the following years starring Morris, "the Bat Whispers" and "Corsair." Unfortunately, he apparently became involved with real life gangsters and was involved in the tragic death of actress Thelma Todd, which abruptly ended his career. He shows a nice unique style here, with sequences of fluid camera movement inter-cut with quite static shots, a little like James Whale. It is quite similar to the other movies I have seen by him "The Bat" and "The Bat Whispers". If he had continued with films, he might be considered a great auteur today.

This is a must see for cinema buffs and especially lovers of gangster films.

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