The Beast of the City (1932)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  13 February 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 687 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 9 critic

Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick ruthlessly goes after organized crime and is prepared to use brutal and violent methods to fight it.



(story), (dialogue continuity) (as John L. Mahin) , 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Peterson ...
John Miljan ...
Emmett Corrigan ...
Warner Richmond ...
Sandy Roth ...


Police Chief Jim Fitzpatrick is fighting gangster Sam Belmonte. He asks his dishonest brother Ed to keep an eye on Daisy who was connected with Belmonte. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Human lives are offered up daily to the Beast of the City Jungle, so that scented, silken-clad women can enjoy the forbidden thrills of a modern Babylon! See this heart-wrenching drama! See more »


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

13 February 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City Sentinels  »

Box Office


$230,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fifty-two minutes into the film Daisy (Jean Harlow) has a party at her place. On a small table against the back wall is a photo of Clark Gable, her co-star in Red Dust (1932) the same year. See more »


Det. Ed Fitzpatrick: [Trying to discourage one of Belmonte's gun molls in the bedroom] Listen, I'm an old man. I left my youth in the capitols of Europe.
See more »


(1877) (uncredited)
Traditional piano tune
Music by Euphemia Allen
Played on piano by Betty Mae Crane and Beverly Crane
See more »

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User Reviews

The Skirt That Did Them In
6 April 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Beast Of The City finds Walter Huston cast as a crusading and honest cop, possibly too rigidly honest. His character is a whole lot like Kirk Douglas's detective in Detective Story that would come out a generation later.

The film also borrows a lot from westerns at the time. Huston's unknown western city is ruled by gangster Jean Hersholt who is apparently untouchable as far as the law is concerned. A whole lot like real life gangsters Al Capone and Lucky Luciano who were coming into prominence.

Huston's family life is secure enough, wife Dorothy Peterson, a few kids among them a young Mickey Rooney. He also has his younger and weaker brother Wallace Ford living with them. Ford's got a real good deal, no rent and he apparently chases a lot of skirts. That proves to be his downfall and eventually Huston's.

The skirt that did them in belonged to Jean Harlow. Jean was never a better mantrap in her career than she is The Beast Of The City. Wallace Ford turns out to be putty in her hands.

Also note another good performance in The Beast Of The City is that of Tully Marshall who plays Hersholt's lawyer. The word shyster was invented for lawyers like Marshall, but he's good to have on your side especially if you're guilty as sin.

The climax is an unforgettable one and one more typical to a western than a modern drama. It's what makes The Beast Of The City a classic that is too rarely seen today.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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