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The Beast of the City (1932)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  13 February 1932 (USA)
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Reviews: 22 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


A thrilling drama of hunters - and hunted, in the city jungles! (Herald). 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 »


Abe Gorman: But chief I forgot to tell you about...
Capt. Jim Fitzpatrick: Yes you forgot to tell me about hitting an officer over the head. You forgot to tell me about shooting a little girl down in the gutter. You forgot to tell me about killing one of the finest white men that ever lived!
See more »


Referenced in Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film (2008) See more »


Sweet And Lovely
(1931) (uncredited)
Written by Gus Arnheim, Neil Moret and Harry Tobias
Played on piano and sung by guests at Daisy's place
See more »

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User Reviews

Little known and waiting to be rediscovered
29 July 1999 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

This is one of the grittiest of the pre-Production Code features. It is important to realize that just two years later, with the implementation of the rewritten Production Code in 1934, this film could not have been made.

As with any piece of popular entertainment that is nearly 70 years old, there are going to be dated elements. What is more important is how relatively modern this film feels, especially compared to the films made under the Production Code after 1934. The story is a hard slice of life, and it will not suit all tastes. This is especially true for those who have been too conditioned by Production Code features and television.

The ending has been compared to Sam Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH and Don Siegel's DIRTY HARRY, and not without cause. However, try to imagine yourself as a member of the original theatrical release audience in 1932. There would have been very little to prepare you for it, apart from DOORWAY TO HELL, LITTLE CAESAR, PUBLIC ENEMY, and SCARFACE. The difference here is that the story is told from the point of view of the men in law enforcement. It focuses on something that was common knowledge at the time, that prohibition had corrupted law enforcement far beyond the scope of anything the public had ever known.

The remedy for corruption that this film prescribes is very strong medicine indeed. You may not like it, but I defy you not to think about it for a long time after you've seen it.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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