6.8/10
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The Great O'Malley (1937)

Approved | | Drama | 13 February 1937 (USA)
A by-the-book patrolman who cares more about the letter of the law than justice feels guilty when his inflexibility sends a family man to prison.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Barbara Phillips
...
John Phillips
...
Judy Nolan
...
Mrs. Phillips (as Frieda Inescourt)
...
Captain Cromwell
...
Attorney for the Defense
...
Motorist
...
Pinky Holden
Gordon Hart ...
Doctor
Mary Gordon ...
Mrs. O'Malley
Mabel Colcord ...
Mrs. Flaherty
...
Father Patrick
...
Miss Taylor
Delmar Watson ...
Tubby
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Storyline

Officer O'Malley arrests John Phillips for a traffic violation and costs him a chance at a good job. Phillips has a wife and crippled child, so he commits robbery and O'Malley sends him to prison. After this O'Malley becomes closer to Phillips' family. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Tale of a Heartless Policeman

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 February 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Making of O'Malley  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Captain Cromwell: [to Pinky Holden about O'Malley] Why pick on one policeman because he's so dumb, he thinks he can run the whole world on a police manual?
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Connections

Version of The Making of O'Malley (1925) See more »

Soundtracks

America
(1831) (uncredited)
aka "My Country 'tis of Thee"
Melody from "God Save the Queen"
Traditional
Words by Samuel Francis Smith
Sung a cappella by the schoolchildren
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User Reviews

Boring Melodrama
22 January 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Great O'Malley, The (1937)

** (out of 4)

Boring melodrama from Warner about cop James O'Malley (Pat O'Brien), an overbearing cop who follows the law down to the wire and this includes passing out tickets for the smallest of issues. Soon he costs a poor man (Humphrey Bogart) a job and the man turns to crime and soon finds himself away from his cripple daughter and doing a ten year sentence. O'Malley gains more and more enemies and soon finds himself close to the man's daughter where he might finally learn his lesson. I'm really not sure what the point of this film was for several reasons. O'Malley is an ugly character, a complete jerk and one people are really going to hate so showing this type of cop to people probably wasn't the best of ideas. I'm not even sure why a story like this would interest anyone and the film comes off like the stars and director didn't have much faith in it either. Dietrich is certainly directing by the numbers as nothing here really jumps out at you as having much effort put into it. There's really not any powerful scenes, drama, laughs or anything else. Granted, nothing here is overly bad but just flat. O'Brien gives a decent performance but it's certainly far from his best because there's not much soul or fire to the character. Bogart does get to shine in a role that you normally wouldn't see him play. I thought he did a pretty good job playing the poor guy trying to look out for his family and it's the type of role you'd expect someone like Spencer Tracy to play but Bogie does fine with it. Sybil Jason and Ann Sheridan add nice support as does Donald Crisp. Warner was the studio for blue collar tales but this one here never really works and I'm really not sure what the point of any of it was.


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