The Widow from Chicago (1930)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  23 November 1930 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 212 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

Vice lord Dominic has brought Swifty Dorgan east to do a job for him. When Swifty appears to have died falling from a train, detective Henderson impersonates him hoping to get into the mob.... See full summary »


(as Edward Cline)


(screen version), (dialogue)
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Complete credited cast:
'Swifty' Dorgan
Lee Shumway ...
Brooks Benedict ...
E.H. Calvert ...
Betty Francisco ...
Harold Goodwin ...


Vice lord Dominic has brought Swifty Dorgan east to do a job for him. When Swifty appears to have died falling from a train, detective Henderson impersonates him hoping to get into the mob. When he's killed his sister Polly poses as Swifty's widow and gets a singing job at Dominic's nightclub. Then the real Swifty shows up. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


WIDOW STEALS GANGSTERS LOVE (original print ad - call caps - ad shows woman reading newspaper headline)


Crime | Drama | Romance


Not Rated




Release Date:

23 November 1930 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Udovica iz Cikaga  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is the first one made under Edward G. Robinson's 1930 contract with Warner Bros. that called for him to appear in four pictures at a flat $35,000 per picture. See more »


References Way Down East (1920) See more »


Get Happy
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Played as dance music at the Crystal Dance Palace
See more »

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User Reviews

Robinson Pre Caesar
29 December 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Widow from Chicago, The (1930)

** (out of 4)

Early gangster film from Warner has Alice White playing Polly Henderson, a woman who sees her brother get gunned down by a bunch of thugs. The woman pretends to be the widow of another gangster who is presumed dead and she crashes in on thug Dominic (Edward G. Robinson) to try and find out who killed her brother. THE WIDOW FROM CHICAGO is a fairly entertaining film that's going to mainly play to those who want to see Robinson in the role of a gangster a year before he became a star with LITTLE CAESAR. There's really nothing to compare in terms of the two performances as it's clear Robinson was still trying to find it acting chops. He's certainly good here but it's easy to see why this film didn't make him a star. It should go without saying but there's very little going on with the screenplay other than a few twists and turns that most viewers are going to pick up on long before they happen. The screenplay itself is pretty silly as there are all sorts of wacky things that happen including the entire bit with the real gangster (Neil Hamilton) who's supposed to be dead showing back up and throwing a wrench in the plans of White. The twist in what happens to Robinson is downright silly and so far-fetched that you almost have to laugh at it. As for White, she's certainly not in the same league as the legends from this era and while her performance is far less from what I'd consider good, there's no doubt that she has a presence on the screen. Her and Robinson do fine work together and certainly help the weak material. The supporting cast offers up Frank McHugh playing the comic bit but he doesn't get a chance to do too much. In the end this is a pretty forgettable film but the addition of Robinson makes it worth viewing for fans of his or the genre.

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