29 user 13 critic

Safe in Hell (1931)

Passed | | Crime, Drama | 12 December 1931 (USA)
After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.



(play), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Crunch (as Ivan Simpson)
Leonie - the Hotel Manager
Newcastle - the Porter
Larson (as Gustav Von Seyffertitz)


Sought by the New Orleans police for accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a woman flees New Orleans for a Caribbean island. Surrounded by lecherous criminals, she awaits the return of her fiancé and seems to be holding her own until the treachery of the local police chief leaves her but one choice to gain her freedom. Written by indexcard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 December 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Lost Lady  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Boston Thursday 14 November 1957 on WBZ (Channel 4), in Honolulu 29 March 1958 on KHVH (Channel 13) and in Milwaukee 21 November 1958 on WISN (Channel 12). See more »


Lawyer Jones: [Mr. Bruno, the island's executioner, has just joined them] How's tricks?
Mr. Bruno - the Hangman: There are no tricks in my business. When a man hangs... he hangs.
Lawyer Jones: What a satisfactory way to get rid of one's enemies.
Mr. Bruno - the Hangman: I *have* no enemies.
Gen. Emmanuel Jesus Maria Gomez: No "living" enemies, eh, Señor?
Mr. Bruno - the Hangman: As jailer and executioner of this island, I may not be popular with the criminal element. But my activities are confined to island crime. While we do not believe in the international law of extradition, our own laws are very strict. But as long as you ...
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Remade as Men in Exile (1937) See more »


The Darktown Strutters' Ball
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Shelton Brooks
Played when Gilda arrives at the Claybridge Apartments
Played briefly on piano by Dorothy Mackaill
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User Reviews

I want to see this again.
13 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

I caught this film on TCM in Dec. of 2007. It was being shown as part of their William Wellman festival. I had not heard of it before, and didn't recognize any of the cast names. The story is a bout a woman accused of a murder in New Orleans, who is helped by her sailor boyfriend to an island in the Caribbean. This is a refuge for scoundrels and criminals. Romantically, the sailor marries her in a very private ceremony, and then he leaves her behind while he sails away for work. Clearly, the focus is on her, since he has very little screen time. The bulk of the film is the long time she has to wait for his return, fending of the lecherous advances of the motley criminals and a corrupt lawman. The ending was dark and surprisingly odd for any Hollywood film. And I was so surprised that I need to see it again, just to make sure I didn't imagine it. It is a somewhat slow film, but it is also intriguing in ways that only pre- code features can be. It seemed even modern in it's dark sensibilities. Also, the lead role, portrayed by Dorothy MacKaill, is a fascinating mix of spunky and trashy, showing more depth and complexity than one might expect from a standard H'wood feature. I'll be looking for her in other films. Definitely a noir predecessor. The black major-domo and the woman running the bar are terrific, too.

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