IMDb > The Doorway to Hell (1930)
The Doorway to Hell
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The Doorway to Hell (1930) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
6.6/10   654 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Rowland Brown (story)
George Rosener (screen play)
View company contact information for The Doorway to Hell on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 October 1930 (USA) See more »
Inside you see the terrors of organized crime - the land of cross and double-cross - where the best you can get is the worst of it! See more »
Lou Ricarno is a smart guy. His plan is to organize the various gangs in Chicago so that the mugs will not liquidate each other... See more » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Some memorable gangster cliches began in this movie. See more (23 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Lew Ayres ... Louie

Charles Judels ... Florist (scenes deleted)
Dorothy Mathews ... Doris
Leon Janney ... Jackie

Robert Elliott ... O'Grady

James Cagney ... Mileaway

Kenneth Thomson ... Capt. of Academy
Jerry Mandy ... Gangster

Noel Madison ... Rocco
Edwin Argus ... Midget
Eddie Kane ... Dr. Morton
Tom Wilson ... Gangster

Dwight Frye ... Gangster
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Fred Argus ... Machine Gunner (uncredited)
Marie Astaire ... Kitty - Fortune Teller (uncredited)
Elmer Ballard ... Tommy - Louie's Chauffeur (uncredited)

Ward Bond ... Policeman (uncredited) (unconfirmed)
Joe Bordeaux ... Joe - a Gangster (uncredited)
Clark Burroughs ... Nigger Mike (uncredited)
Nick Copeland ... The Midget's Henchman (uncredited)

Bernard Granville ... Dr. J.W. Johnson - Plastic Surgeon (uncredited)
Ruth Hall ... Girl (uncredited)
Eddie Hart ... Tansey (uncredited)

Al Hill ... Jimmy Kirk - Gangster (uncredited)
Thomas E. Jackson ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
John Kelly ... Whitey Eckhart (uncredited)
Gus Leonard ... Shop Owner (uncredited)
Larry McGrath ... Detective (uncredited)
Collette Merton ... Jane (uncredited)
Eddie Moran ... Hymie - a Gangster (uncredited)

Dick Purcell ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)

George Rosener ... Slick (uncredited)
Cliff Saum ... Poolroom Proprietor (uncredited)
Tony Stabenau ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Jack Wise ... Delivery Waiter (uncredited)

Directed by
Archie Mayo 
Writing credits
Rowland Brown (story "A Handful of Clouds")

George Rosener (screen play)

George Rosener (dialogue)

Produced by
Darryl F. Zanuck .... executive producer (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Barney McGill (photography)
Film Editing by
Robert O. Crandall (edited by) (as Robert Crandall)
Costume Design by
Earl Luick (costumes by)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
Charles David Forrest .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Music Department
Erno Rapee .... general musical director
Louis Silvers .... conductor: Vitaphone Orchestra
Leo F. Forbstein .... musical director (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (present) (as a Warner Bros.-Vitaphone Talking Picture)

Additional Details

Also Known As:
78 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating)

Did You Know?

In an example of early product placement, instead of just ordering cigarettes, Louie asks the newsboy to bring him a carton of Sweet Caporals. This was an actual brand sold by the American Tobacco Company in the USA from 1887 to 1969 (1895-2011 in Canada). The carton of cigarettes cost Louie $1.00 to $1.25 in 1930.See more »
Continuity: In Louie's last room there is a picture of Napolean on the wall. The label showing the title of the picture "Napolean in Exile" appears and disappears between shots.See more »
Louie:Hello, Punch drunk, how's everything?
Mileaway:Not so hot.
See more »
Movie Connections:
TapsSee more »


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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Some memorable gangster cliches began in this movie., 31 May 2001
Author: reptilicus from Vancouver, Canada

I first wanted to viddy this interesting piece of sinny because it offered a pre-PUBLIC ENEMY look at James Cagney. Imagine my surprise to find out it is also Dwight Frye's first talkie! Yes, the man who would find fame as Renfield in DRACULA and Fritz in FRANKENSTEIN appears in this film too. Billed way at the bottom of the opening credits as simply "gangster", Dwight's character is called "Monk" and is one of the first people we meet in the film. That old cliche of the gangster who carries a tommy-gun in a violin case got started with this film and Dwight is the fellow toting the lethal instrument. When he strolls out of a pool room with his violin case under his arm he offhandedly comments "I'm gonna teach a guy a lesson." with a sardonic smile on his face. The lines "Take a guy for a ride" and "Put a guy on the spot" originated with this film too. Lew Ayers, fresh from ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is the real hero, or should I say anti-hero, of the movie and Cagney exhibits the screen personality that aimed him directly at the bullseye of Hollywood stardom but being a lifelong fan of character actors, I now like this film for Dwight Frye's brief, but memorable, appearance.

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