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   687 votes »
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Down 2% 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:
early screen appearances by later stars - good story 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?

The first credited film project of Dwight Frye.See more »
Incorrectly regarded as goofs: What appears to be a typo in the gangland slaughter headline of the newspaper Louie reads in the boarding house - it reads 'grewsome' instead of 'gruesome' - is in fact an acceptable variant that was more popular at the time the film was released.See more »
Kitty - Fortune Teller:Say, Jane, has Whitey been double-crossing anybody lately?
Kitty - Fortune Teller:Well, I don't know. These cards read awfully funny.
See more »
Movie Connections:
TapsSee more »


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11 out of 13 people found the following review useful.
early screen appearances by later stars - good story, 16 May 2007
Author: gary olszewski from Henderson, Nv. USA

A pretty good crime drama of its time, on a par with PUBLIC ENEMY, LITTLE CEASAR, and others of the genre,good acting, too.Excellent acting by a very young Lew Ayres, an up-and-coming yet unknown James Cagney, here listed way down in the cast of players as a secondary, and I particularly enjoyed the fine characterization by pre-Dracula Dwight Frye. Much better than the common, cheesy melodramas of the period,this one holds the interest better due to its inferences and unseen sub-plots, an early gem by director Archie Mayo, ahead of its time for its imaginative storyline, and great scene shots, a captivating film as a whole simply for standing out among the rest! Watch this one, it's very good!!

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